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The Harlequins Foundation’s Rugby Satellite Clubs Go Virtual

Thanks to funding from London Sport, The Harlequins Foundation have been able to take our satellite clubs online, ensuring young people are able to connect with each other and stay active during these difficult times.  

Research from Sport England shows that as many as 44% of the nation’s children are doing less than half an hour of daily activity during the crisis. With “Wellbeing” being one of The Foundation’s main pillars, we have been determined to do what we can within our local community to address this alarming statistic.

Our satellite clubs, funded by London Sport, are designed to provide young people with the chance to get active and take part in sport and physical activity at a convenient and enjoyable time.

Since the start of lockdown, we have moved the clubs online, providing a virtual offer to participants on the programme.

The virtual programme started with HIIT-based workout sessions, led by our Wellbeing Coach Hollie Smith, and have now progressed into skills-based rugby sessions.

This progression to rugby-based sessions has only been possible due to the funding from London Sport, and fantastic support from DHL, a key partner of Harlequin F.C, which enabled us to deliver 70 rugby starter packs, including a ball and a kicking tee, to young people on the programme.

This means that we have been able to bring rugby back to the forefront of the programme, helping our participants, many of whom play grassroots club rugby, continue their rugby journeys as we look towards a return to play at community level.

The feedback from parents and young people alike has been fantastic, a selection of which is below.

“Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to drop off the ball to Jack. He was super happy and chuffed and has been out playing with it already.”

“Since starting up the virtual club 4 – 5 weeks ago with James and Hollie, my self-confidence has gone up so much, I have never been a big fan of fitness, but Hollie made it so fun.”

James Collins-Clark, Foundation Development Officer, said: “It has been great to see how well the young people on our programme have responded to our new virtual offer.

“They have shown great commitment, getting really stuck into every session, and will be raring to go when community rugby returns, and they’re able to be back playing for our local satellite clubs.

“We are incredibly grateful to our friends at London Sport who have funded the programme, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as we return to physical delivery.”

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