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Tackling rugby head on at schools festival in Coventry

More than 200 Coventry school children tackled rugby head on at a major tag rugby festival in the city.

Pupils from 16 primary schools came together to enjoy a festival of tag rugby at Centre AT7 in Bell Green Road.

As part of the Premiership Rugby’s Breakthru campaign, which develops sustainable health, education and social change outcomes through Rugby, the festival was organised as part of Wasps’ community development programmes, delivered by the Engage! project.

Pupils from Years Three, Four and Five were encouraged to put their rugby skills to the test by taking part in a variety of mini tournaments to mark the end of their six week programme.

Wasps ambassador and former Wasps and England winger, Paul Sackey also attended as a special guest and offered advice, support and encouragement to the young athletes throughout the festival.

Eleven of the schools were celebrating concluding the Premiership Rugby Aviva Tackling Numbers programme which is designed to increase children’s understanding of and confidence in numerical skills.

The programme combines classroom sessions and practical number-based tag rugby games, festivals and showcase events to inspire children to be more active both physically and in their maths class participation.

The remaining five primary schools marked the end of Premiership Rugby’s Something to Chew On Programme, which encourages healthy living habits through rugby.

Engage! is a programme designed to use the core values of rugby to provide social and educational benefits as a way of developing healthy, well-rounded, confident young people, teaching the core values of teamwork, respect, integrity, enjoyment and discipline to children across the city. The initiative was also recently contracted to deliver Wasps’ community programmes.

Tom Clift, programme manager of Engage!, said:

It was great for the schoolchildren to be able to come together to celebrate all of the hard work they had achieved while taking part in Premiership Rugby’s Aviva Tackling Numbers or the Something to Chew On programme.

Both programmes have taken place over the past six weeks and look to tackle important issues in society by combining classroom learning with practical tag rugby activities.

Aviva Tackling Numbers looks to make numeracy at an early age more exciting and engaging with a view of setting children on a path to long-term success whilst building their confidence in maths.

The Premiership Rugby’s Something to Chew On programme aims to combat Britain’s growing childhood obesity problem by teaching children about leading a healthy lifestyle.

It is the biggest festival of rugby we have organised in Coventry with more than 200 pupils getting involved. It was great for them to be able to get out in the sunshine and enjoy an afternoon of physical activity and interacting with rugby legend and Wasps ambassador Paul Sackey.

Schools taking part in the Aviva Tackling Numbers programme were Cannon Park Primary School, Earlsdon Primary School, Finham Primary School, Hearsall Primary School, Manor Park Primary School, Park Hill Primary School, Pearl Hyde Primary School, Stivichall Primary School, St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, Stoke Primary School and Wyken Croft Primary School.

Schools taking part in Premiership Rugby’s Something to Chew On programme were Aldermoor Farm Primary School, Charter Primary School, Longford Park Primary School, St Osburg’s Primary School and Whoberley Hall Primary School.