The Duke of Edinburgh Award gives all young people the chance to develop skills for work and life, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future. Working as a partner with the Reading Young Offenders, London Irish have the opportunity to spend 12 weeks developing young people, using the core values of Rugby and the Duke of Edinburgh as the vehicle.
The programme will see a member of the London Irish community coaching team run 12 weeks of coaching and education sessions with a launch taking place on 12th September. The sessions will be run on a Monday evening for around 20 young offenders. The young offenders will be introduced to playing and coaching a fun, fast paced game which requires skill, speed, co-ordination and team work.
London Irish will provide the evidence for the physical recreation and skills sections of the DofE Bronze award, Reading YOI will be taking the young men through an expedition and volunteering sections.
The programme will help individuals to achieve personal goals using the core values of rugby. The physical nature of rugby will enable the young offenders to have a focus; this will include team work, respect, as well as personal development both physically and mentally. Discipline is key component of rugby and a trait that is extremely important for these young men. Using London Irish players and coaches as role models it is the aim of the programme to use rugby as a fantastic exit route into mainstream society.
The programme aims to provide the young offenders with an opportunity to develop their rugby skills as well as their teamwork skills. London Irish Community Rugby Manager, Ben Lee, said: “London Irish is very keen to provide support to the prison and believe we can use the vehicle of rugby to break down the barriers that these young people face.
This is a fantastic opportunity for the young offenders to be involved in an exciting rugby programme. The programme will provide young offenders with qualities which will aid there rehabilitation and provide them with teamwork and leadership qualities. London Irish is delighted to be working in partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh Award and HM Young Offenders Institute and hope to build upon this programme through other rugby initiatives.”
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