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  • 30 September 2015 00:00
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Harlequins Brighter Futures

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Harlequins is proud to support one of its Foundation Partners, Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) at the BT Wheelchair Rugby Community Festival 2015.

The Project                 
Using Rugby World Cup 2015 and the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge 2015 as our inspiration, we identified an opportunity to teach young disabled people about rugby. We established an inclusive and educational programme to take to the Festival, alongside GBWR who provided the specialist coaching and equipment for the sessions.

The Result
13 young people with learning impairments from Clarendon School in Richmond experienced six wheelchair rugby sessions with expert coaching from GBWR and plan to set up a regular club hub.
The young people also demonstrated their wheelchair rugby skills as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015. Their first session back after the summer school holidays took place during the Richmond leg of the RWC15 Trophy Tour, held at St Mary’s University. After the session, the young people had a photo taken with the Webb Ellis Cup. 

The group relished the opportunity to get back into the chairs after the holidays and used the experience to prepare for their first competitive experience at the inaugural BT Youth Tournament to be held at the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as part of the BT Wheelchair Rugby Community Festival 11th October – A celebration of GBWR’s inclusive Community Programme.

Inspired by the Rugby World Cup 2015 and the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge 2015; with a focus on participating in the BT Youth Tournament, our Building Brighter Futures project had fantastic ingredients to ignite young peoples’ passion for rugby. 

The young people involved in the project have grown in confidence, have learnt more about the sports core values and most importantly have had fun. 

Alan (aged 14) said,
"Learning to play Wheelchair Rugby has been awesome, I was a bit nervous at first because the chairs can smash into each other quite hard but Luke (GBWR coach) taught us how to play and block people. I’m really looking forward to competing at the Copper Box Arena where loads of Olympians have played.”

The Future
By 2016 we aim to have two sustainable club hubs in the local borough. Together we will work with other youth groups to promote inclusion and diversity through high quality rugby and wheelchair rugby experiences. 

To hear more about the Harlequins Foundation contact:
Isobelle Meakin, Foundation Coordinator
Telephone: 020 8410 6081 | Email: foundation@quins.co.uk | Web: www.harlequins.foundation

For further information about BT GBWR Youth Programme contact:
Stuart Mc Lindon, GBWR Youth Programme Manager
Telephone: 020 8831 7645 I Email: stuart.mclindon@gbwr.org.uk I Web: www.gbwr.org.uk

About Harlequins
Harlequins is a club with a long standing commitment to its community, Members and history and will build upon this through the Harlequins Foundation.

Our mission is to improve the life chances of young people by working collaboratively to develop, implement, fund and deliver innovative programmes that harness the true power of the Harlequins spirit. We use what is unique to us to create movements and drive sustainable change, while creating a network of thriving individuals who have experienced positive and sustainable change through engagement with the Harlequins Foundation. 

Our key focus areas reflect the Club’s own impacts and the areas where we feel we can make the most difference for the next generation. 
Sport for social change 
Education, training, enterprise 
Sustainable communities  
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