Project Rugby Festival, in partnership with The Metropolitan Police

We are kicking off December in style with an action-packed Project Rugby Festival, in partnership with The Metropolitan Police.

The Harlequins Foundation seeks to use the unique power of sport to support those living and working in our local communities, all as part of our charitable mission of ‘Building Brighter Futures’.

Throughout the ‘Harlequins Heartlands’ – the London Boroughs neighbouring our home in Twickenham – we deliver a broad range of targeted programmes in line with our three key aims & objectives: promoting wellbeing, championing inclusivity, and developing essential skills.

In close partnership with schools & community-based organisations, including the Metropolitan Police, we use ‘Project Rugby’ to provide local young people with meaningful sports opportunities.

On the 6th of December both boys and girls will take part in a touch rugby festival, where they will have the opportunity to play on the pitch at the Twickenham Stoop, with a big thanks to The Harlequins fair use policy which allows community access.

Taking inspiration from Harlequins’ emphatic double championship winning season, we seek to connect those from underrepresented communities (such as low socio-economic, diverse ethnicities, and disabled groups) with their local grassroots rugby club, and to provide them with a safe, accessible, and enjoyable route into long-term engagement in community sport.

In addition to the tournaments, children will get the chance to take part in several workshops delivered by The Metropolitan Police and The Harlequins Foundation.

These include:

The Metropolitan Police

  • Hard Calls Save Lives” – Mothers of young men who have tragically lost their lives to knife crime will talk to young people about their experiences.
  • Fearless.orgA safe space for young people to give information about crime.
  • Territorial Support Group (TSG) – Public Order Policing.
  • MO19 – Firearms Command.
  • Mounted Police
  • Dexter the Wellbeing Dog

The Harlequins Foundation

  • ‘HITZ on Track’ – Alternative education for ‘at-risk’ 14–16-year-olds.
  • METTLE– Resilience & Wellbeing workshops from the world of elite sport.
  • Robot Rugby – Inspiring STEM careers in sport with Harlequins-inspired play-based coding.

Inspector Chris Bright from the Central Engagement team at New Scotland Yard, said “I have had the pleasure of working with The Harlequins Foundation for several years. Working in partnership with The Foundation has further enabled the Met Police to break down barriers, build trust and confidence with our communities, using the platform of rugby. The event on the 6thof December is another great opportunity for The Foundation, Police and young people to work together to drive down youth violence and knife crime. In the spirit of the game, we are all working together for a safer London”.

Matt Williams, Schools Manager for The Harlequins Foundation, said: “Events like this are important for us to host, as they have the power to bring people together from different backgrounds and change lives. Sport offers a level playing field, and the chance to build the essential skills such as staying positive and aiming high. Our goal, and hope, is that these are delivered in a fun and engaging environment, and young people leave with the confidence to use them in their everyday lives. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with The Metropolitan Police again, to develop that connection within our community, and to ensure young people feel safe and supported.”   

With several VIPs from the local community in attendance across the day – including Dexter the wellbeing dog – this is set to be a big day for all.

For more information on The Foundation check out the website, and for more information on the work that The Metropolitan Police are doing in your community, head to their Twitter page #TheMet within communities.

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