Community Group’s Head of Community at Richmond Rugby, Ed Roberts provides an update in his latest blog
Here’s to the first six months! Time has flown by since I joined Community Group in August 2022 and, as this is my first blog, I hope you enjoy reading about what the community team at Richmond Rugby has been up to. We have a lot of exciting projects that we are both completing and looking to start in 2023.
We continue to deliver high-quality camps at Richmond Rugby which run alongside the school calendar. Our camps are a great way to introduce new members to the club, help support vulnerable children and families with childcare during the holidays, and encourage youngsters to remain active during the holidays. This February, we have a rugby camp running from the 13th-17th– and you can click HERE to book your child’s place.
In conjunction with Achieving for Children we are proud to have secured funding to deliver HAF camps during the school holidays for the past three years. The Holiday, Activities and Food programme is for children aged 4-16 who receive free school meals at schools within the borough of Richmond Upon Thames, and it involves multi-sport activities, as well as arts and crafts.
This follows our Christmas HAF Camp where we served more than 100 meals across the week. We are looking to build upon this success in April and during the summer when we are set to engage with more than 500 children.
In conjunction with Richmond Parish Lands Charity & Active Richmond, we have proudly delivered our walking rugby programmes to more than 80 people in the local area, including Richmond, Hampton, Ham & North Sheen. Walking rugby is a non-contact format of the game – there is no tackling involved, instead, a touch on the armpit or below is used as the tackle. Played on a quarter pitch, participants must only walk, and it is appropriate for all genders, abilities and fitness levels. Sessions typically last for an hour and include a ten-minute warm-up, ten minutes of skills and then four ten-minute games. It’s proved a great initiative in attracting old players back to the game as well as new players who never quite made the leap into rugby but now can’t miss it.
In schools, the Wooden Spoon charity provided funding for our coaches to deliver an initiative to support vulnerable young people at risk of crime through 1-1 mentoring and support in their curriculum lessons. Working closely with schools in the borough of Hounslow, Community Group coaches have supported 18 pupils so far with six-week programmes investigating motivation, learning habits and future jobs/careers. A key motivating factor for these pupils is the relationships they are able to build with mentors, which in turn has led to increased participation and engagement in extra-curricular sports activities such as rugby, football and basketball.
Finally, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has just confirmed they will be supporting the club in producing a piece of work researching the rich history of women’s rugby at Richmond and how this has developed over the years since its inception in 1986.
Last September marked the return of rugby delivery at school after a long summer, and we are pleased to have developed partnerships with more than 24 education providers across southwest London. Through Community Group’s Educational Solutions, we deliver PPA and pre-and-after-school rugby sessions, while providing children with the opportunity to play rugby at Richmond and watch our Men’s & Women’s First XVs. If you would like to know more about the benefits of our in-school programmes, please take a look at our Educational Solutions document by clicking HERE.
Success on the field through our coaches
The 2023 season is moving fast and we’re very fortunate in our department to have representation across both our men’s and women’s teams. Coaches Alex O’Meara, Luke Spring, Vaughan Bentley & Hannah Kent have all represented the club First XV in their respective campaigns, and I look forward to them continuing their rugby journeys both on and off the field.
Powered by Community Group, Richmond Rugby’s Community Department is growing month by month. We deliver high quality coaching sessions to more than 700 children per week and we are very excited for 2023. If you see me down at the club, please feel free to stop me and I would be delighted to tell you more.
Community Group specialise in aiding the enrichment, well-being and health of our communities through wide-ranging and exceptional programmes that engage local businesses, charities and sports clubs and in turn support their individual community engagement. If you would like to know more about how Community Group can support your club, please get in touch by clicking HERE.