In the six weeks that the All Schools programme has been in place at Ashington High School, we are seeing a 54% increase in the number of students taking up rugby.
Led by Rugby World Cup organisers the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Rugby Football Foundation, the three-year initiative aims to encourage new players to the game while increasing confidence and discipline among students.
New equipment, specialist coaches and student-designed Canterbury kits have kicked off the project with impressive results.
P.E. teacher Nick Storey leads the weekly rugby training for students aged 11 to 19 and comments that: “Historically the school has had good links with Ashington Rugby Club but over the years this tradition has fallen away as football and cricket grew in popularity.
“It got to the point where we had a team of just 10 pupils playing one or two games. Since starting the project in September we’ve had a fantastic response. We’re now seeing more than 50 students wanting to play each week with staff receiving expert training from rugby coaches so they can lead sessions.
“It has had an impact on the whole school allowing pupils and staff to develop their skills. The All Schools programme is helping improve pupils’ confidence, teamwork, discipline and enjoyment of the game.”