ON Sunday 28th October Premiership Rugby sponsors Aviva, Bath Rugby and Swindon RFC hosted an Aviva Premiership Rugby transition day with local school children. The event, a crucial part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, is designed to create long-lasting links between local schools and clubs and eventually unearth the next generation of potential England rugby stars. The day was led by a number of Swindon RFC and Bath Rugby coaches and offered the youngsters the opportunity to progress from school sport to community sport and more regular participation. A huge thanks to Patrick Toogood and David Slade from Swindon RFC for all their help and expertise in making it a very successful and fun day.
In its third season, the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme represents a significant investment (£2 million) by Aviva into the grass roots level of the game. Resources will go towards supporting over 1,200 teachers in 650 schools across the country whilst also providing all the kit necessary to play tag rugby. Aligned to the national curriculum and PE syllabus, the number of children who will have taken part in the scheme by the end of this season is enough to fill Twickenham.
Each season, every Aviva Premiership Rugby club will host similar transition days at selected hub clubs and will provide first-class coaching by using an Aviva Premiership Rugby coach and age group coaches from each club.
Kim Oliver, Bath Rugby Community Coach said: "It's important that each Aviva Premiership Rugby club can offer something back and, through the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, hopefully we can get more kids involved in the sport. Taking the step from school sport to club rugby is also an important stage for many young players. It can have a huge impact on a player's development and hopefully some of the kids here will do just that."
David Slade, coach at Swindon RFC said: "It's great to have so many local kids down here today and we're very proud as a club to host it with Bath Rugby. Our aim is to encourage as many school children from the Swindon area to join their local club and increase the number of youngsters playing rugby at a grassroots level. The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is the perfect platform for us to do this."
Louisa Cheetham, Senior Sponsorship Manager at Aviva, said: "The programme highlights our commitment of working with Premiership Rugby to grow participation in the sport. The programme essentially delivers real benefit to communities through rugby and helps towards the creation of a sustainable legacy for the sport."