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Urban Rugby Squad launched

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Leicester Tigers Foundation have joined forces with Premiership Rugby to launch a new initiative that gives young people the chance to take part in regular sporting activity and personal development workshops that use rugby as inspiration.Urban Rugby Squad will run across all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs this summer in partnership with BT Sport’s The Supporters Club, the broadcaster’s initiative that aims to build a better world through sport, and RestartRugby, the Official Charity of The Rugby Players' Association (RPA).   The programme will be implemented, thanks to a substantial grant from BT Sport's The Supporters Club and is aimed at 14-16 year-olds from disadvantaged communities.   Urban Rugby Squad will see Tigers coaches deliver a 12-week recruitment and development programme with four local clubs. Those local clubs will come together in August for a festival at which an Urban Rugby Squad will be selected to represent Tigers at a National Festival, to be held at the Twickenham Stoop in October. The Leicester Tigers Foundation were represented by the club’s Hitz ambassadors Ryan Cummings and Ollie Veasey at today’s launch event at London’s Westway Sports and Fitness Centre, where they were joined by former England winger and BT Sport presenter Ugo Monye. It is estimated Urban Rugby Squad will introduce 1,000 young people from non-traditional rugby communities to the game, with practical sessions built around personal workshops that focus on areas including anger management, drugs/alcohol misuse, sexual health and physical fitness assessment. The partnership builds on the existing multi-year relationship between BT Sport and Premiership Rugby for exclusive live television coverage of the Aviva Premiership. Last year, The Supporters Club also provided a substantial grant to Premiership Rugby's 'Something to Chew On' initiative, an interactive project that promotes healthy and active lifestyles to children using rugby as a focus.   Mark McCafferty, Premiership Rugby chief executive, said: “With our partners, BT Sport and The Rugby Players' Association , we are committed to show how rugby union can be a force for good in this country. "The 12 Premiership Rugby clubs will enrol more than 1,000 young people – many from tough areas – into their Urban Rugby Squads this summer.   “They will get tailored coaching not just to make them better rugby players but to harness the values of the game.   “We will be reaching out to new rugby communities putting rugby on the agenda for the first time in some areas.   “The Urban Rugby Squad will also focus on the personal development of squad members to increase their life opportunities.   “The programme will culminate with a festival during Rugby World Cup 2015 when we will showcase the journey these teenagers have gone on over the summer.” BT Consumer chief executive John Petter, said: "Our relationship with Premiership Rugby typifies how BT is determined to forge innovative relationships with our league partners to use sport as an enabler of social change among young people.” BT Sport ambassador Monye said: “Rugby has the power to teach young people a number of life skills as well as the obvious health and physical benefits, so I can't wait to get stuck in and hopefully encourage more young people to fall in love with the game.” Damian Hopley, Group CEO of the RPA, said: "All the RPA members recognise the positive influence rugby has had on their lives and this programme will make a significant impact for good on the participants. It is great to see the professional players supporting this programme via their own charity.”