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6 March 2008 PR 08/26

Students coach inner-city school kids to national competition

A group of Leicester’s inner-city schoolboys will compete at one of the largest school rugby festivals in the world next week thanks to a Loughborough University coaching programme.

Twelve pupils from English Martyrs Catholic School and Winstanley, Hamilton and Soar Valley Community Colleges have been training together since the half-term holidays in preparation for the National Schools Sevens which take place at Rosslyn Park RFC in London next week (10-11 March).

The training has been coordinated by Loughborough University’s Building On Overlooked Sporting Talent (BOOST) programme which aims to help students become quality rugby coaches and referees through tailored education and the provision of practical coaching opportunities.

BOOST coaches have delivered a series of coaching sessions since the start of the year at four Leicester city centre schools, identified as part of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Emerging Schools programme. All schools competed at a regional rugby festival in February where a final training squad of 15 was selected.

The training squad took part in an intensive three-day camp at Loughborough University during half-term where players combined classroom sessions with up to four hours of rugby training each day.

The final 12 were selected from that and had a promising start last month at the Berkhamsted 7s in Hertfordshire. The team, competing as ‘BOOST’, now travels to London on Sunday for the National School Sevens which kick off on Monday (10 March). As part of the trip, players will also take a tour of Twickenham, the home of England rugby.

The squad are competing in the junior (under-13) age group and are drawn against Llanishen RFC, Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School and a Manchester side in their early group matches.

112 teams have registered for the junior competition and more than 7,500 schoolchildren of all ages are expected to converge on Rosslyn Park for the tournament.


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Notes for editors:

  1. Loughborough University’s BOOST programme has donated more than 20,000 coaching hours since it began in 2006. Coaches and officials regularly volunteer in Loughborough’s primary and secondary schools as well as at regional club and RFU festivals.
  2. For details on the national BOOST programme log onto http://www.boostct.org
  3. For details of the National Schools Sevens log onto http://www.ns7.co.uk
  4. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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