A group of pupils from Whitley Bay High, Monkseaton High and Norham High School are to take part in a workshop where they will design their school team’s rugby shirt which will then be produced and donated by Canterbury, the official kit supplier to England Rugby and official partner to All Schools.
The Canterbury kit design workshops are part of the All Schools programme which was launched in 2012 by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in partnership with the Rugby Football Foundation to help more secondary state school children play rugby.
From September the 100 new schools will join All Schools, including Whitley Bay High, Monkseaton High and Norham High School, and they will be supported to start playing rugby for the first time. This gives All Schools national representation with over 200 schools now participating in total.
Canterbury is official partner to All Schools and, as part of its investment in the programme, will be holding kit design workshops across the UK during September and October for the 100 schools that are new to rugby.
The schools will have the opportunity to attend one of the workshops where they will learn about the core values of rugby, the pride associated with the shirt, and Canterbury’s design team will share the thought process behind the design before the pupils try their hand at creating their school team’s rugby shirt.
CEO of Canterbury, Chris Stephenson, said: “We’re passionate about working together with the RFU to bring rugby to All Schools and are looking forward to supporting these new schools by providing kit and the unique opportunity to design their own team shirt.
“It’s been fantastic to see the impact rugby has had on the students taking part over the last year and encouraging that the schools are building such strong club links.”
All Schools programme to take rugby to 400 state secondary schools by 2015 and to 750 by 2019 as part of the RFU’s Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy plans.
Steve Grainger, rugby development director of the RFU, said: “We launched All Schools to take rugby to people and places that might not otherwise have experienced the game.
“We believe rugby has the power to make school life happier and healthier, reducing anti-social behaviour, enhancing learning and increasing self-esteem for students.
“We are committed to creating a positive legacy for students through rugby and its core values.”
Schools that are new to rugby are identified in regional clusters and supported over three years with a tailored programme to meet its individual needs, including links to a local club.
By establishing relationships with rugby clubs it will help the school and club to retain more players and grow the game.