Government announces funding for rugby coaches to “build character” in pupils

The scheme coincides with England hosting the Rugby World Cup. All 12 Aviva premiership clubs, as well as Worcester Warriors and Bristol, will receive government funding to design and deliver programmes for pupils.

Nicky Morgan announced the scheme on 31 May as a part of the government’s “core mission to deliver real social justice”. The scheme will reach more than 17,000 pupils in schools, as well as providing an intensive 33 week course for almost 500 young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).

The project will be a part of the government’s ‘character grants scheme’, which will see £3.5 million of funding spread across 14 different projects, with this project receiving more than £500,000. The ‘character grants scheme’ is set to reach 150,000 pupils across more than 1,100 schools, and is designed “to expand initiatives that successfully improve the character of young people”.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “In the year of England hosting the Rugby World Cup we are funding the sport’s best coaches to transform the lives of thousands of our most disaffected and disadvantaged children.

“This is part of our core mission to deliver real social justice by giving all children, regardless of background, the chance to fulfil their potential and achieve their high aspirations.

“The values of rugby are those from which all young people should learn. Rugby teaches how to bounce back from setbacks, to show integrity in victory and defeat, and to respect others, especially your opponents.

“The £3.5 million character grants announced today will go towards producing a nation of resilient and confident young people. It will mean our children will be more ready than ever before to lead tomorrow’s Britain.”
Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, said: “On and off the pitch, rugby’s core values of respect, teamwork, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship are at the heart of premiership rugby. Our work in the community before, during and after this year’s Rugby World Cup gives England’s professional rugby clubs a fantastic platform to use rugby’s core values to build character.

“We are excited that this new Department for Education partnership will expand this promising community-based approach to reach primary and secondary school children.”

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