Rugby is playing a pivotal role in twelve Leicestershire schools this school year through a joint initiative driven by Leicester Tigers and Aggregate Industries, a leading player in the construction and infrastructure industries headquartered in Coalville, Leicestershire.
The Concrete Rugby programme promotes a healthy lifestyle alongside introducing secondary and high school students to rugby and the importance of exercise.
The initiative was first introduced in schools across the region in November 2016, following a study that found 91% of parents felt that their children do not get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity, and has already reached over 1,000 students.
Schools taking part include Hinckley Academy and Hastings High School from Hinckley; Leicester-based Fullhurst Community College and Rushey Mead Academy; Loughborough-based Humphrey Perkins; Market Harborough’s Wellend Park Academy; Lutterworth High School; St Martins from Nuneaton; John Ferneley School in Melton Mowbray; Newbridge High School in Coalville and Heath Lane Academy in Earl Shilton.
Through the game of rugby, pupils learn new skills over a six week period and, after each training session, pupils participate in a group discussion covering a wide range of issues; from healthy eating, drugs, road safety through to bullying, including the dangers of peer pressure and digital safety.
Blaine Bonnin-Ward, rugby development officer at Leicester Tigers who runs the sessions, said: “It’s important that we build on the success of last year’s programmes. We had some fantastic feedback from pupils and teachers and so it’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to go back and teach a new group of youngsters.
“With schools in Leicestershire there is a huge demand for specialist sports-led initiatives like Concrete Rugby. In addition, we’ll also be running dedicated campaigns on specific issues such as bullying and obesity throughout the school year ensuring we reach and educate even more pupils.”
François Pétry, CEO of Aggregate Industries, comments: “Following the success of the first year of Concrete Rugby, we are proud to be able to continue to support this important initiative, which we hope will have an even greater reach this year, with an increased focus on issues impacting children’s daily lives.
“This year will see the launch of the Give Bullying the Boot campaign, focusing on educating children on the signs of bullying and what they should do if they or somebody they know is experiencing bullying. We hope that engaging with the younger generation through rugby will make a positive impact and promote not only the physical benefits sport can have but the emotional benefits too.”
If schools are interested in finding out more about Concrete Rugby as well as how to get involved, please contact Blaine Bonnin-Ward at Leicester Tigers on [email protected]