On Friday 5 July 2019, over 230 participants attended a dual festival hosted at Hazelwood Centre, the home of London Irish.

The Tackling Health Festival is a Premiership Rugby programme run in association with the Greggs Foundation. The initiative educates primary school children from years 3 and 4 and focuses on healthy eating through classroom sessions and physical activity, activated by tag rugby sessions.

The Foundation coaches attend the designated schools for five weeks, concluding the programme with a festival organised by each Premiership club. This year’s festival at Hazelwood saw 11 schools attend, where 110 youngsters all played tag rugby using the skills they had been taught throughout the programme.

Mathew Heeks, Foundation coach & project lead, said “It was a fantastic day and excellent to see so many young people playing rugby at the club. Thank you to the Greggs Foundation for creating such an important initiative tackling the social issues around health. We can’t wait to deliver the programme again next season.”

The London Irish Foundation also hosted, on the same day, a Project Rugby Inclusion Festival which brought 125 participants from nine schools to Hazelwood. A carousel format saw each station host different games and activities to ensure that all participants would be involved and having fun. All the attending participants had previously received 12 weeks of specialist coaching from our Foundation staff.

“The festival is a great way to showcase the progress these individuals have made over the course of the 12 weeks of rugby delivered” explained Joseph Pegg, inclusion lead.

“It’s fantastic to see so many young people and adults playing rugby, regardless of their ability and impairments. As a Foundation we pride ourselves on being fully inclusive and we relished the opportunity to demonstrate how incredible all these participants are.”

Demonstrating the core values of rugby, both festivals will be returning next year! For more information, please email [email protected]

For more information on the London Irish Foundation, click here.


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