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Project Rugby lands top award

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An initiative to encourage traditionally underrepresented groups to play rugby has been named Best Sports Governing Body Initiative at the Sports Business Awards.

Project Rugby aims to increase participation among black, Asian and minority ethnic people, people from Lower Socio-Economic backgrounds and disabled people.

Under the Project Rugby umbrella, the club has launched Leicester Tigers Swifts, a junior tag rugby team for Year 4 boys and girls to get an introduction to the sport.

Free sessions take place every Monday at New College and run from 4.40pm to 5.30pm, with a particular focus on black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Tigers coaches have taken the initiative into schools across Leicester, teaching children to play tag rugby before staging a festival at Leicester Forest RFC and a chance to put their skills into practice.

Project Rugby is a nationwide initiative between Premiership Rugby and England Rugby. A four year programme, it intends to address under representation amongst groups and communities in rugby union and is delivered by community coaches employed by the 14 Premiership Rugby clubs.

More information on Project Rugby is available from Sam Johnston by emailing [email protected]

Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby’s community and CSR director, was delighted to win the award.

He said: “We want rugby to be welcoming to all people, be it as a participant, fan, employee, coach or volunteer, and we want to ensure we are doing as much as we can to achieve this. We were delighted to be shortlisted alongside and against some excellent initiatives, and very proud to be presented with the ‘Gold Award’. As we plan for the new season, we will keep up with our commitment to make continued progress with Premiership Rugby’s inclusion work and ensuring rugby is a game for all.”

Steve Grainger, RFU rugby development director, added: “We’re very proud to receive this award which recognises the positive impact Project Rugby is having in bringing the game to underrepresented audiences.  This accolade is a testament to the hard work of all those individuals involved both on and off the pitch.”