Northampton Saints Community team are taking their Project Rugby programme online in 2021 as they hope to spread the game of rugby further throughout the region.
Project Rugby is a joint initiative between Premiership Rugby and England Rugby designed to increase participation in the game by people from traditionally underrepresented groups – including black, asian and ethic minorities, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and people with disabilities.
The programme engages thousands of participants every year and is delivered across all Premiership Rugby clubs in over 200 locations across England, providing opportunities for people to participate in the game at a time and place that can be easily accessed by all.
WE'RE BACK!📣— Saints Community (@SaintsComm) February 22, 2021
Our lockdown challenges have returned in collaboration with the start of our #ProjectRugby delivery!
Check out the first of 5 challenges we'll set for you to attempt this term, and Keep an eye out for more activities to get involved in!😇🏉@premrugby @GallagherUK pic.twitter.com/AhgTso1yyb
And despite the challenges that the pandemic has posed, Saints are more determined than ever to keep expanding rugby's reach – with the Community team creating a fully virtual programme as Project Rugby gets back underway in 2021.
The team will be offering free online sessions to local secondary schools and grassroots rugby clubs to keep young people engaged in both rugby and physical activity over the current lockdown period, with flexible sessions available to schools and twice-weekly evening sessions open to clubs on Wednesdays and Fridays. One session will comprise a practical activity session and the other an interactive Q&A with a member of the Saints squad.
“We know the pandemic has taken sport away from so many people and we've felt the sting of that right across the Club,” said Saints Community Programmes Manager, Ben Lawrence.
“But we're acutely aware that the pandemic has also robbed young people of the chance to get into sport, especially rugby.
“At Saints, we want to make sure that rugby is accessible to as many people as possible and that we give everyone a chance to connect with the game.”Ben Lawrence, Saints Community Programmes Manager
“Normally we'd invite clubs and schools to experience the rugby first-hand, but while that's not possible we thought we'd try to give them the next best thing and take the rugby to them – we'll even be throwing in some exclusive Q&A sessions with the Saints squad too!”
Sessions are completely free to attend and will be conducted via Zoom, with the first evening session for clubs taking place on Wednesday 24 February from 4.30pm to 5pm. School sessions can be booked individually, with flexible time slots available to best align with a school's other online learning requirements.
If you would like more information on the Project Rugby programme or would like to sign-up to one of the Community team's online sessions, please email [email protected].