News | Wednesday, 28th March 2018
University project to teach rugby to youngsters in criminal justice system
Kicking Crime Into Touch has been funded through the Try for Change Fund
Young people from Greater Manchester will learn how to play rugby through a University project in an effort to raise aspirations and improve low self-esteem.
'Kicking Crime Into Touch' has won funding from the Try for Change initiative, a partnership between England Rugby and Sport Relief.
The project will engage young people from Trafford, Salford and Manchester who are in the criminal justice system in a rugby 7s programme delivered by Manchester Metropolitan University’s rugby union club.
It aims to improve their physical health and develop essential rugby skills in discipline, teamwork and resilience to transfer into other areas of their lives.
Professor Hannah Smithson, Director of the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “We know that sport can be effective in attracting young people and improving performance in activities that they may not normally engage in.
“We are extremely excited to see how rugby union can be promoted to young people in the criminal justice system as an enjoyable and challenging sporting activity.
“Sport in the community has the power to contribute towards aspirational goals and we are really looking forward to working with young people and youth justice practitioners in this joint venture.”
Teamwork and discipline
Rob Jones, Head Rugby Union Coach at MMU Sport, said: “MMU Sport are extremely excited to provide a rugby 7s programme. Developing athletes through the sport’s core values of teamwork, respect, discipline, enjoyment and sportsmanship is what we do.
“Having a positive impact on the lives of people through rugby union is at the heart of the project and we cannot wait to start.”
Kicking Crime Into Touch is one of six projects funded by the initiative, which offers up to £100,000 for work delivered over two to three years to improve lives through rugby.
We are extremely excited to see how rugby union can be promoted to young people in the criminal justice system as an enjoyable and challenging sporting activity.
The six successful projects join the Try for Change portfolio alongside the 11 that received a small grant in the first round of funding last year. They are located across England and use rugby and its core values as a tool to greatly improve and support the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged people.
Dominic Proctor, RFU Chair of Try for Change and RFU Board Member said: “It’s great to see a range of projects being awarded grants at our second round of funding. Each and every project selected has shown significant commitment to improving lives through rugby over a sustained period. We look forward to seeing how they develop their plans and the impact they will have over the next few years to leave a lasting impact in local communities across the country.”