Derby RFC and Sporting Futures have been awarded one of the first ever set of Try for Change small grant recipients from England Rugby and Comic Relief, to bring rugby to communities where it would not usually be found.
The Try for Change small grants round is the first initiative in England Rugby’s partnership with Sport Relief. Aimed at supporting smaller charities, community groups and grassroots rugby clubs in England, the grants offer projects up to £10,000 to support the valuable work they are doing to improve lives through rugby.
Over 40 organisations, including 17 rugby clubs, applied for a small grant, with ‘a Rugby Sporting Future for Derby’ being one of only 11 projects ultimately being awarded funding. The project will use rugby and its core values as a tool to greatly improve and support the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged people.
Jodie Hayes, Programme Development Officer at Sporting Futures, said, “We’re really looking forward to bringing rugby to our sessions in the city. It’s a sport which often has elitist connotations which both we and Derby RFC want to help tear down. We’ll be working in Normanton, Sinfin and Derwent over the coming months to help our young people develop new sports skills.”
Jon Welham, of Derby RFC, Said, “In choosing to work with Sporting Futures we [Derby RFC] have identified an exceptionally capable partner to deliver this project to vulnerable young people in the city. RFU qualified club coaches will deliver the sessions but will also receive training in working with this challenging target group.
“Derby RFC is committed to developing its community engagement and this project represents a fantastic opportunity to do something that will make a real difference to young people’s lives.”
Derby RFC’s aims are to prevent the widening gap between those who access sport and those who find it very difficult to pass the many real and perceived barriers to entry into playing sport. Derby RFC needs to learn more about what it can offer to create a city-wide level playing field, where young people from Derby’s most disadvantaged areas have the ability to directly compete with their more affluent peers in accessing sport and rugby in particular.
The ultimate aim of the project would be to inspire at least one young person to commit to rugby as a serious sport and represent Derby RFC.
Dominic Proctor, RFU Chair for Try for Change and RFU Board Member said “It’s great to see such deserving projects being awarded grants in our first round of funding. The projects selected each demonstrate how rugby has the ability to improve the lives of millions of people from all walks of life and I’m excited to see how they each of them utilise their grants to make a real difference over the coming months.”
Sporting Futures and Derby RFC are excited to start the new project at the three locations across the city this autumn. For more information on any of the sessions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.