England Rugby and Sport Relief have announced the six latest projects to be awarded Try for Change grants.
Aimed at supporting charities, community groups and grassroots rugby clubs in England, the grants offer projects up to £100,000 for work delivered over two to three years to improve lives through rugby.
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.
The six projects awarded a large grant are:
International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS)
The project will introduce mixed ability rugby to 20 rugby clubs in Yorkshire and the Midlands. Mixed ability rugby sees players with and without disabilities play full-contact rugby as equal team members. This enables people with disabilities to take part in opportunities they would not otherwise be able to access, benefiting their physical and mental health. The programme aims to increased social integration between disabled and non-disabled participants and change perceptions within clubs and communities.
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) – Kicking Crime into Touch
This project will engage young people from Trafford, Salford and Manchester, who are in the criminal justice system. Young people will take part in a 16 week rugby programme delivered by MMU’s rugby union club to improve their physical health and develop their discipline skills, teamwork and resilience. The project will support young people to transfer these rugby values to other areas of their lives.
The National Literacy Trust – Rugby Reading Champions
Rugby Reading Champions is a literacy programme for children aged 9-13 delivered by rugby coaches. It uses the motivational power of rugby union, players and coaches as role models to inspire children and young people to read more and to improve their literacy skills. National Literacy Trust will work with over 500 young people over two years. The programme will be designed and delivered in partnership with Leicester Tigers.
Sharks Community Trust – Team Talk
Sharks Team Talk will use rugby as a basis for tackling loneliness, social isolation and dementia among people aged 60 plus. The project will run weekly walking rugby and social activities in four different rugby clubs across Greater Manchester (Trafford, Rochdale, Manchester and Eccles) supporting older people to engage in physical, social and volunteering activities. Participants will also be invited to group social activities, such as attending Sale Sharks games. The project will support participants to improve their health and wellbeing and use local rugby clubs to develop long-term social and physical networks.
Stonewall will work with coaches, players and fans to create LGBT-inclusive environments at grassroots clubs throughout England. Through a series of capacity-building programmes, Stonewall will empower participants to increase LGBT-inclusion in rugby, stand up for LGBT rights and create wider societal change for LGBT people in their local community.
Street League will increase the number of opportunities for unemployed young people, aged 16 to 24 from disadvantaged communities in London, to progress into sustainable employment, education and training using the power of rugby. It will launch a new rugby programme building upon its award-winning and proven employability and sport model. The aim is to work with over 100 young people over a two year period.
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.”
Lisa Bedding, Senior Investment Partner, Sport for Change said: “We had a number of high quality applications for this round of funding, but the six that have been awarded grants really stood out. We were impressed with their proposals and are confident each project will benefit the local communities in which they are operating. “
Sport Relief 2018 takes place from 17 to 23 March and Twickenham Stadium will join the campaign with activity at the NatWest 6 Nations match between England and Ireland on 17 March.
Rugby clubs, schools, colleges, universities and individuals can get involved as a team, a player or rugby supporter this Sport Relief and raise money for Try for Change. Anyone wanting to get involved can download a fundraising pack here.