Steve Barclay MP joined stars of the England Women’s rugby team at a reception in parliament to promote a scheme which is helping pupils at Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech to take up the game.
Over 50 students at the school have participated so far in mixed girls and boys rugby sessions organized as part of the Rugby Football Union’s ‘All school’s’ project, which is offering a further 750 state schools across the UK the chance to get involved with the sport.
Mr Barclay, pictured with England Women’s rugby stars Maggie Alphonsie, a world -class flanker and England wing Michaela Staniford, met representatives of the sport to discuss the expansion of the scheme.
Michaela, who started playing rugby at 13, said: “It is great to get more girls playing rugby through the national All Schools programme. Girls should play rugby because it has a role for all shapes and sizes and has lots of different skills on show, not to mention plenty of travel around the world at the top level”.
The extended scheme will help thousands more students to join over 1500 UK state schools who already have access to rugby training. The project will complement the government’s announcement of £150m new funding for specialist coaches in schools as part of the School Sport Legacy.
Mr Barclay said: “The core values of respect & sportsmanship are an important part of rugby, so it is great to see the Olympic legacy of more sport in schools being developed by the RFU through this scheme.”
Last week students from 100 participating schools visited Twickenham to watch the England v Italy Six Nations match.