School Rugby Ambassadors

(ER 2015) Tuesday 24 June 2014
School Rugby Ambassadors
England 2015 Ambassador Will Greenwood and England Women's Rugby player Fran Matthews help to launch the exciting new School Rugby Ambassador programme.

The School Rugby Ambassador programme for Rugby World Cup 2015 has launched in Manchester, England.

England 2015 Ambassador Will Greenwood and England Women's Rugby player Fran Matthews joined pupils from Wilmslow High School on June 24 to promote the new initiative at a tag Rugby tournament, organised as part of the UK’s National School Sport Week which runs between June 23 & 27.

The programme, which is being delivered in partnership with the Rugby Football Union and the Youth Sport Trust, encourages young people aged between 14 and 18 to become School Rugby Ambassadors and organise activities that encourage their peers to play the game and build excitement around Rugby World Cup 2015.

Following an initial application process which was open to Youth Sport Trust Secondary Members, 14 schools were selected in or near Rugby World Cup 2015 host cities to encourage other schools to become involved and link up with local primary schools. The aim of this is to form a network of School Rugby Ambassadors within each host city. The programme is now open to all secondary schools in England and they can register their interest by visiting the Youth Sport Trust website.

Welcoming the world to England

Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans, said: “Through this partnership with the RFU and Youth Sport Trust we are engaging young people with RWC 2015 and helping to spread the excitement around the country as we head towards the tournament. We want young people to play an important role in welcoming the world to this proud Rugby nation and this initiative will give an excellent opportunity for fans, players and visitors to interact with schools and the local community.”

With years of experience between them playing at the highest level of the game, both Will and Fran got stuck into the tag Rugby tournament and provided tips on skills and technique needed in the game. They also led a rugby masterclass for a selection of pupils, focusing on how the core values of sportsmanship, respect, enjoyment, discipline and teamwork are important in every aspect of the game, from playing and coaching to leading and officiating.

Building excitement

England 2015 Ambassador, Will Greenwood, said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 offers us the perfect chance to engage young people across the country in grassroots Rugby and the School Rugby Ambassador programme will be the driving force in helping to utilise the sort of enthusiasm that we have witnessed here today. I hope that all schools take up this great opportunity to support the tournament and leave a legacy for the game.”   

Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, John Steele, said: “It is fantastic to launch the School Rugby Ambassador programme in our weeklong celebration of sport that is inspiring so many young people across the country. The energy and enthusiasm of the young leaders will help to drive excitement in schools about the tournament and hopefully encourage thousands of young people to get involved with Rugby.”  

Resources for teachers

The partnership of the Rugby Football Union, England Rugby 2015 and Youth Sport Trust has also created an interactive, innovative resource website which aims to bring Rugby World Cup 2015 to life in schools throughout the country. Designed by a group of teachers, the site is packed with resources and offers ideas and materials to incorporate Rugby into a range of subjects as part of the build-up to next year’s Rugby World Cup.

The site is based around the RFU’s five core values – Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. It offers creative ways in which teachers can apply each of those values in meaningful ways which will benefit their students across the curriculum. 

Joining in the build-up to RWC 2015

RFU Rugby Development Director, Steve Grainger, said: “This is an exciting project to help us raise awareness of Rugby in schools and inspire more young people to play the game or be involved in the sport in other ways.

“Our aim is to help them feel part of the excitement that hosting RWC 2015 will bring to this country and to have a real connection to the sport in the build-up to the tournament. This new website will give schools access to a whole range of educational materials and ideas which can bring the game to life in imaginative ways. We are proud of the values that our sport promotes and we hope this website will help teachers to encourage them in all areas of school life.”

Throughout May, the RFU, supported by the Youth Sport Trust, delivered the second stage of Young Rugby Ambassador conferences that sought to recruit young people aged 16 to 20-years-old to promote Rugby World Cup 2015 within the English club network. There are currently 909 Young Rugby Ambassadors and 441 mentors who also have the task of encouraging players to come back to the game as well as cultural engagement. For more information you can visit the Young Rugby Ambassador section on the RFU website