London Irish have just announced their disability strand of ‘Project Rugby’ and are already seeing the community benefit as a result.

London Irish’s free to access ‘Project Rugby’ sessions aim to engage more disabled athletes in rugby. The London Irish Community Team are working with schools, colleges and community groups across Berkshire with the aim that disabled participants have access to rugby, inside and outside education. 

London Irish rugby sessions at Castle School have inspired participant Bradley to join Thatcham Rugby Club. 

“Before the London Irish sessions, Bradley had never played rugby before. Now it’s great to see his passion for the sport,” said Joseph Pegg, London Irish inclusion officer.

“He was one of the most apprehensive participants and now he is the first one on the pitch!

“Bradley takes on all the advice he is given and implements it into his game to ensure he progresses every session. I have no doubt that he will do really well at Thatcham Rugby Club.”

Bradley has shown the desire to develop his game while often taking the opportunity to help others at the session learn too. 

“It’s great to see a success story like Bradley’s. It shows that the hard work that the London Irish Community Team are doing is paying off,” said Andy Keast, Head of Community at London Irish.

“Well done to Bradley and I look forward to seeing him on the rugby pitch soon.”

The sessions started as inclusive tag rugby before progressing into contact. The participants worked on their tackling technique to ensure that they all had the confidence and ability to try contact rugby. These sessions worked on body positions, knowledge and tackling themed games. 

Moving forward, the London Irish Community Team are looking to create a ‘Project Rugby Team’ to compete against other schools and clubs with Castle School being the core of the team.

The Project Rugby sessions run by London Irish instil confidence to improve the participants’ wellbeing and develop them for adult life.

“It’s been amazing to have the opportunity to do tag and contact rugby with the London Irish coaches,” said Matt Greenwood, Castle School Support Assistant.

“It’s inspired our young adults to do more sport and stay fit. It’s great that they are able to get all muddy and enjoy themselves, just like all kids should.”

If you are interested in attending a London Irish Project Rugby session or would like more information, please contact [email protected].

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