Huge boost for grass roots game

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The Independent Online

Grass roots rugby will receive an extra 4000 volunteers over the next three years with the aid of £520,000 in new funding from v, the youth volunteering charity, and the Rugby Football Foundation.

v has committed £337,000 from its Match Fund, the Rugby Football Foundation has added a grant of £184,000, and training and support worth £155,000 from the Rugby Football Union’s Community Rugby staff completes the commitment of £676,000 to the create the vRugby programme.

More than 200 clubs will take part each year, with 30 young county activators – each responsible for seven clubs – coordinating the project that will recruit, train and support volunteers aged from 16 to 25.

vRugby volunteers will run projects that benefit their clubs and the local community in one of four areas: playing (vRugbyFun), delivering healthy lifestyle messages (vRugbyLife), club mini-makeovers (vRugbyForce) and fundraising (vRugbyCash).

LeRoy Angel, Chairman of the Rugby Foundation, said: “The significant investment from v and the Rugby Football Foundation will help us secure the future health of the game by bringing more volunteers into rugby union.

“It enables us to create 4,000 volunteering opportunities over the next three years and give the young people involved a rewarding chance to make a significant impact within their local community.”

Terry Ryall, v’s chief executive, said: “Sport ranks as the top interest of young people, so this funding will harness their existing passion, energy and enthusiasm to deliver top projects that have real benefits for their local community.”

Recruitment of the county activators starts in July and August with a national training camp taking place on September 25 and 26. Details can be found at rfu.com/clubs/vRugby

RFU Volunteer Manager Carole Thelwall-Jones, said: “Having ‘tasted’ rugby union volunteering, young people will be shown paths into longer term voluntary roles at clubs. They will be able to continue to use the vRugby resources and access training, all of which is great for the future of the game.”

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