Community Group’s Head of Community at Richmond Rugby, Dom Palacio provides an update in his latest blog

How time flies when you’re having fun! And there has certainly been plenty of fun at Richmond Rugby.

We enjoyed a busy pre-season rugby camp in August, which set us up nicely for an equally busy schools programme from September. That extended further into our October half-term camp, with school delivery continuing as of a fortnight ago.

Schools

Richmond has seen a record number of schools using the club for both primary school and secondary school rugby coaching.

This has included before and after school tag rugby clubs through to full curriculum rugby support in key independent schools, such as Reigate Grammar School and King’s College School, Wimbledon.

In total, the club is delivering more than 110 hours of rugby per week in 22 different schools, engaging with more than 500 children in that time. We are also pleased to report that five schools now have Richmond coaches running girls rugby for years 7-9.

The club also recently hosted Richmond Council’s Primary School Tag Rugby Festival. This saw 30 local schools and more than 300 children taking part, with our community coaches helping to support the day.

Projects

We are pleased to say that all of our grant-funded projects are continuing to operate.

Our ground-breaking Rehabilitation through Rugby programme continues at Her Majesty’s Youth Offenders Institute – Feltham. Launched in 2019, it is still the only rugby engagement project in the Prison Services Juvenile (15 -18 years old) Estate.

Inmates get the opportunity to take part in a rugby training session once a week for two hours, with strength and conditioning, and mentoring meetings also included. We strongly believe that physical activity in a competitive environment linked with rugby’s values can offer help to these young men and an alternative to a life of crime.

In addition to this we are also continuing Project Fast Forward – our crime prevention programme set up with funding and in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, Safer Schools Team and the MCC foundation.

This project is intended to educate and mentor year 4 and 5 primary school children in deprived areas of West London. We provide after school and school holiday provision with the aim to raise awareness of grooming by gangs.

Our other projects are a three-day Youth Club at the Richmond Athletic Ground, Youth Fitness Sessions, Parent & Child Fitness Sessions and Walking Rugby. Please click on the links to find out more information.

Finally

We have been pleased to see our Community Department expand and we now have 12 coaches – all of whom play for either our men’s and women’s section. Having community coaches across our senior section creates a strong link across the whole club and wider community.

They are also helping with the club’s new girls youth section for Under 12s-18s. We had a successful launch last week and training officially starts this Sunday from 12pm-1:30pm, with new players of all abilities welcome.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to support or sponsor the great work going on in the Richmond Rugby Community Department, please do get in touch – we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact me by emailing dom.palacio@community-group.co.uk.

If you would like to know more about how Community Group can support your club, please get in touch by clicking HERE.