SPARC recently received funding from Comic Relief and The RFU to deliver a Try 4 Change Project called Rugbi Sewena (Rugby Success) for 14-16 year olds from Camborne, Pool and Redruth who had been removed from mainstream education.
Ace Schools, Talent Match and Cornwall College Pre 16’s referred participants to the project which focussed on implementing The RFU’s core values and used rugby as a tool for improving the mental and physical health of the participants as well as improving confidence and raising aspiration levels.
The project took place every Friday morning at Redruth Rugby Club and was delivered by Jamie Tresidder who is the founder of SPARC and experienced rugby player/coach.
The participants were all new to rugby and as such the first few weeks of the project were based around creating cohesion amongst the group, introducing the basics and laws of the game to everyone as well implementing the core values of rugby union.
As the weeks progressed, the confidence, skill level and enthusiasm of the group grew and The Cornwall RFU Development and Coaching team delivered rugby ready qualifications as well as an introduction to refereeing.
The achievement of gaining accredited qualifications (which for some participants were the only certificates they have ever received) gave the young people a huge confidence boost and the skills they obtained through coaching, leading and evaluating their peers are traits that can be taken in to the community and be used to return to mainstream education, access further training opportunities and gain employment in the future.
Integrating the participants in to community activity was a key objective of Rugbi Sewena and in June of this year, we entered the team in to The RFU Beach Rugby Competition at Marazion Beach in Penzance where the team put their skills they had learned in to practice and played in their first competitive rugby games, winning three, drawing three and losing two and reaching the quarter finals in the process.
Participating in the beach rugby competition was a huge milestone for the participants who excelled themselves throughout the day and displayed the core values of The RFU throughout the entire competition. The most pleasing of which was the sportsmanship and respect they displayed to the opposition, the referees and the tournament organisers alike who all remarked positively on the way in which everyone conducted themselves and played in the true spirit of rugby.
The final Rugbi Sewena project took place on Friday 13th July and it was a fantastic event where the participants’ successes were celebrated and they were presented with their certificates by Alan Miliner who is The CEO of White Gold and CRFU Rep to The RFU.