VI Rugby Programme Goes From Strength to Strength

This month, we saw further progress within our Visually Impaired (VI) Rugby programme. Since successfully founding the pilot programme in 2016, we have been working with premiership rugby clubs across the UK, securing our sixth premiership club partnership earlier this month.

The VI Rugby programme was founded after we recognised that rugby players in the UK living with visual disabilities were not offered a safe and inclusive environment to play rugby. We hope that our partnerships with premiership clubs will help us to establish professional and grassroots VI rugby clubs across the UK. With calendar dates booked in professional Scottish and Irish rugby clubs next month, we hope to have the roots of VI rugby planted in every country across the UK by August this year.

Each year, our annual showcase event highlights just how far this new sport has come. Since 2017 our showcase development timeline has progressed significantly.

 

  • 2017 – British Lions Tour – New Zealand.
  • 2018 – Harlequins VI vs Wasps VI – Twickenham Stadium – The Big 10.
  • 2019 – Japan Rugby World Cup – Tokyo.
  • 2020 – Postponed due to Covid-19.
  • 2021 – Wales VI vs England VI – Autumn International.
  • 2022 – VI Rugby World Cup – Planning underway.

 

Our relationships with the premiership clubs has been pivotal in introducing this inclusive sport into our communities.

Earlier this month the Harlequins VI rugby team competed in the ‘Project Rugby’ mixed ability rugby tournament. The tournament is run by Gallagher, who also sponsor the official Gallagher Premiership.

Two coaches and a few players from our VI rugby team were later invited to Twickenham Stadium to watch Harlequins vs Exeter Chiefs in the Gallagher Premiership. To the delight of our players, Harlequins claimed the victory!

We thank Gallagher for their hospitality and generosity throughout the Project Rugby tournament and for hosting us at Twickenham.

For more information on how to get involved please contact: Alex Bassan, Head of Business Development .

The Change Foundation Innovate with England Handball

This month The Change Foundation collaborated with England Handball to develop a new social impact programme. The programme will build on the rise of the game of handball, and increase its access in diverse communities. The evolving landscape of sport for development presents an opportunity for us to think differently, progress positively and approach a new audience of England Handball players. The Change Foundation will be working with England Handball to:

  • Create a handball social impact programme, targeting key outcomes of physical health, mental health, and inclusion.
  • Coordinate the creative development of adaptable, inclusive, engaging handball games that include key social impact messaging.
  • Provide knowledge, experience, and creativity about social impact programme development so that England Handball can explore all opportunities.

The Change Foundation are delighted to innovate with England Handball and this month the team took part in a creative workshop to develop inclusive and engaging handball games to begin to create a social change toolkit for handball. England Handball’s National Partnerships Manager, Stacey Andrews said:

“We’re excited to work with The Change Foundation and engage with more communities in the UK.

“Working together with The Change Foundation I’m confident that we can take this sport to new places.”

The Change Foundation’s Director of Design and Impact, Navjeet Sira said:

“Handball is such an inclusive game for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Its simple elements of throwing, catching and movement means we can evolve and adapt the sport and the rules to suit any community. We are so excited to create new coaching techniques with England Handball and launch a new community initiative that will improve so many lives.”

If you would like to work with The Change Foundation to develop innovative sport for social change initiatives, please contact Navjeet Sira Director of Design and Impact.

 

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