Northampton Saints coaches will be among the first to be drafted into schools as part of a Government programme to “build grit” in pupils.
In the lead-up to England’s hosting the Rugby World Cup, education secretary Nicky Morgan has announced that coaches from 14 professional UK clubs will design and deliver programmes that will bring a professional sporting ethos to pupils at their local schools.
The programme focuses on the five cores values of rugby over a five-week period, during which time we will engage over 1,200 students.Will Parkin, Saints community coach
The first two Northamptonshire schools to take part in the ‘On The Front Foot’ scheme this term include Lings Primary School in Northampton and St Brendan’s Primary School in Corby.
Will Parkin, Saints community coach, said: “On the Front Foot is a new programme launched by Premiership Rugby where we will be visiting 21 schools across Northamptonshire and the surrounding area.
“The programme focuses on the five cores values of rugby over a five-week period, during which time we will engage over 1,200 students.
“As the Saints Community department continues to grow it is fantastic to widen the range of initiatives we are delivering and to put a focus on how rugby can have a great impact both on and off the field.”
The £500,000 Government-funded programme aims to teach pupils about discipline and respect in professional sport in a bid to build character and resilience. It will reach more than 17,000 pupils across UK schools and cover a similar 33-week training course for almost 500 young people who are not in education, employment or training.
Mr Morgan said: “In the year of England hosting the Rugby World Cup we are funding the sport’s best coaches to transform the lives and build grit in 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 project is one of the education secretary’s 14 character-building schemes set to be rolled out throughout the year. He added: “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.”