Now in its third year, Tackling Numbers is an award-winning five-week programme developed by Premiership Rugby in partnership with MBNA. In its first two years Tackling Numbers reached 16,800 youngsters in 560 schools up and down the country.
The key aims of the project are to improve young people's understanding of the importance of basic financial and numeracy skills; while increasing physical exercise and activity at the same time. The exercise element also counts as a contribution towards the five hour offering of high quality PE and sport in schools.
This week's session in Rushden concentrated on the formation of different shapes, with Waldouck helping the eight and nine-year-olds to identify the shapes used in different stadium designs before joining them for a practical session outdoors.
The centre says that programmes like Tackling Numbers are essential in helping to grow rugby union in England.
"We're trying to grow the game and bring the best out of our youth and these sorts of projects are a great way of doing that," he commented. "Getting sponsors involved in that is imperative, and Tackling Numbers is a brilliant way of tying the classroom to the sports pitch. The programme uses the power of rugby to promote the understanding and learning of numeracy in a fun and exciting way and the children clearly enjoy it."
Simeon Byrne, Year 4 teacher at Newton Road Primary, says that all of the youngsters have enjoyed the programme.
"It's been absolutely fantastic and the children have really enjoyed it," she said. "They really enjoy the link between number work and physical literacy and putting numbers into a real context such as rugby and stadiums.
"When you're in the classroom you can be restricted in your movement and concentrate on just thinking, but with Tackling Numbers they do some classroom work and then go outside, where they're free to show what they can do with their bodies as well as their brains."
Ian O'Doherty, Europe Card Executive for MBNA, added: "We are delighted that Dom could join the children at Newton Road Primary to help bring these lessons to life. Tackling Numbers is all about engaging children in mathematics in a practical and enjoyable way because it's important that we provide young people with the knowledge to help them manage their money in the future.
"We hope this programme provides them with a memorable experience but more importantly, a foundation for good numeracy skills and financial literacy in adulthood."
MBNA supports a range of initiatives that are helping children to improve their numeracy, teenagers to understand the way finance works and adults to receive the support they need to help them improve their financial situation. For more information, visit the company's website - www.mbna.co.uk/about-us/what-we-care-about/