The Harlequins Foundation and the Tag Rugby Trust (TRT) launched their international partnership to support the delivery of the Female Inspiration Through Rugby programme (FITR). The TRT in Zimbabwe provides positive personal, social and developmental opportunities to young women and girls aged 13-18. The Harlequins Foundation are delivering the same aims to girls in three of our local schools; Waldegrave, Hampton High and Twickenham School.
This partnership will see a skills transfer and a trip for the Harlequins Foundation schools to visit Harare and coach, mentor and implement a social action project in the communities that the TRT work in, alongside the Zimbabwean girls.
Harlequins Foundation Programme Manager Paul Wilson spent four days visiting TRT in Harare and saw the impact not only FITR has been having, but also how TRT use tag rugby to ENGAGE, EDUCATE and IMPACT the lives of young boys and girls. So far, the TRT has engaged 10,500 people throughout Zimbabwe and has developed a volunteer base that is 1,500 strong. Paul Wilson commented ‘to see the network and the work already undertaken by the TRT is hugely impressive. It is great to be able to align our mission to empower women and girls through rugby and to be able to combine the work of both the Harlequins Foundation and TRT to make a lasting impact for women and girls in the UK and Zimbabwe’.
During the visit the TRT opened their TRT hub. The facility has been built for women and girls to be the primary users and will enable them to have a safe space to play sport, change and access valuable classroom space to study. To mark the opening of the TRT hub the Harlequins Foundation staff watched the FITR mentors, who had been formed into an invitational XV from across Zimbabwe, play against a Zimbabwe select XV. This was the first fixture for the TRT XV boosted by Welsh international Alicia McComish and Springbok international Tayla Kinsey. Both players also gave their time during the morning to coach participants in the TAG festival.
This exciting partnership for both the Harlequins Foundation and the TRT will enable thousands of boys and girls from here in the UK and across the TRT network to engage in education and TAG rugby programmes.