Latest news from Loughborough University
2 April 2012 | PR 12/63
Loughborough rugby project gives school children a BOOST
A team made up of pupils aged under 13 from schools in inner city Leicester were handed the opportunity of a lifetime at the world’s largest schools rugby sevens tournament.
Former England international and HSBC ambassador Jason Robinson gave the pupils an exclusive coaching clinic while attending the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens.
The Loughborough BOOST project is aimed at giving children in Leicester the opportunity to benefit from the values of rugby to help them improve in their everyday lives.
Integrity, respect and teamwork are core values in rugby and the 11 players selected to represent the BOOST project at the tournament were all picked based on positive development and personal change witnessed in the last five months.
This is the sixth year a BOOST team, managed by Alex Laybourne from Loughborough University, have competed at Rosslyn Park and the first time they have won a match at the prestigious tournament.
The team is selected based on feedback from teachers and coaches in the local area and is not based on playing ability only. For some in the team it was their first time away from home as well.
Alex Laybourne, BOOST project club and coach development officer, said:
“Back in October last year we started going into the local schools and coaching the kids, immediately we saw improvements in the children both on and off the pitch. They enjoyed the challenge on the pitch and transferred the values they had learned off the pitch as well. We formed a squad of players based on feedback from teachers and the coaches and had a half-term camp at Loughborough University where the kids made use of the top-class facilities.
“Those children that demonstrated the most development personally and those with the most potential to benefit from the programme were selected to compete at the tournament here this week. It’s an honour for them to play at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens and to get a coaching clinic from Jason Robinson really topped it all off for them. We hope they continue to benefit from the game.”
Owen Mills, captain of the BOOST Project team, said:
“He’s such a nice bloke, it was so good of him to come and coach us today. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to play with and meet one of the greatest players ever. He showed us how to outsmart opponents with good footwork and he played a game of touch with us as well!”
Former England international Jason Robinson, added:
“This is my second time here at the tournament and it always amazes me, the size and scale of the event. To have so many kids all competing in one tournament takes huge organisation on the part of the organisers. I really enjoyed the opportunity to coach the kids from the BOOST Project, hopefully they can get the same value out of the game that I did during my career.”
The Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools is an annual event and is the world’s largest schools Sevens tournament. The 7,500 participants age from 13 to 19 with boys and girls taking part in the various different competitions during the week. Over 600 teams of all levels from across the UK as well as international visiting teams from Denmark, Spain and the USA play in the tournament, which is now in its 73rd year.
The tournament has an unrivalled alumni of former participants including former England captains Lawrence Dallaglio and Will Carling, Gareth Edwards and current England Sevens captain Ben Gollings, who have all played in the tournament which was first won by St George’s Harpenden in 1939.
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Notes for editors:
HSBC has a long-standing investment in rugby around the world from the pinnacle of the British & Irish Lions Tour and the HSBC Sevens World Series to the thousands of children who are introduced to rugby for the first time through HSBC’s numerous community rugby programmes.
As the first ever title sponsor of the IRB’s premier Sevens Series, title sponsor of the Asian 5 Nations and the first ever Principal Partner to renew their sponsorship of the Lions, HSBC are perfectly positioned in their commitment to the continuing growth of the game.
These sponsorships, amongst other more localised rugby partnerships, will allow HSBC to continue building long lasting relationships with its key stakeholders and also allow HSBC to further engage and motivate its employees and the internal audience.
Over the coming years, HSBC is dedicated to the international growth of the game from grassroots to the top flight, helping rugby to achieve its true potential of bringing together different people from different cultures through a shared love of the game.
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.
It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.
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.
It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.