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Bath Rugby coach Mixed Ability children to promote inclusivity within rugby

18 January 2018

Bath Rugby joined Bath Rugby Foundation in holding a Mixed Ability coaching session at Clarendon School in Richmond, London yesterday.

The session – designed to illustrate that rugby is an inclusive sport that anyone can play, regardless of age or ability – focused on fun rugby drills that everyone can enjoy.

Sam Underhill, Zach Mercer and Freddie Burns helped coaches from Bath Rugby Foundation – the charitable arm of the Club - to coach ten of Clarendon’s students, aged between 14 and 16 years old, along with ten members of the Foundation’s Mixed Ability participants.

Bath Rugby hosted the session in London as part of the build-up to its showpiece event, The Clash, which will see the Club take on arch-rivals Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 7th April. A fantastic day out is on offer, with free family entertainment before and after the game itself, once more reinforcing the Club’s commitment to highlighting that rugby is a sport that one and all can enjoy.

Bath Rugby Foundation works with disadvantaged children in the Bath and North East Somerset region to empower them to succeed. Along with the RFU and Premiership Rugby, inclusivity in rugby is a key focus currently, with the aim to increase underrepresented participation in the sport, specifically Black, Asian & minority Ethnic people, those from low socio-economic backgrounds and disabled people. Bath Rugby Foundation has also formed Walcot Warriors, the first Mixed Ability team in the South West.

Both the Mixed Ability participants and the children from Clarendon School are being invited back to The Clash, which last year saw over 61,000 people entertained throughout the day, culminating in Bath taking the spoils in a classic encounter on the pitch.

Over 30,000 tickets have already been sold for The Clash, with prices starting at just £5 for children and £15 for adults. They can be bought at www.bathrugby.com/theclash

Sam Underhill, Bath Rugby and England international said:

“The coaching session was a great day, it was a lot of fun to work with the pupils from Clarendon and the Foundation’s Mixed Ability participants – it is always rewarding as a player to be able to give back and help people discover the sport we all enjoy so much. The session has really helped highlight the inclusive nature of rugby and how everyone can play and enjoy the sport.

“Being the home of English rugby, being at Twickenham is always a special occasion, and as a squad we can’t wait to get back out there in April for what is usually one of the best games of the season for us.”

Bath Rugby Foundations’ Project Development Manager, Caryl Thomas added:

“The Foundation’s aim is to increase participation in rugby from all levels and backgrounds, we’re making great progress but it’s an area that still needs a lot of work. Rugby is one of those sports that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of ability, and the session at Clarendon has just further highlighted this. All the children had an amazing time, and hopefully they’ve caught the rugby bug and want to continue playing! Rugby is a competitive sport, but more than anything it’s a sport that’s about friendship, community and fun, something that everyone can benefit from.”

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