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Community Foundation’s inclusive hub gearing up for summer festival

The Community Foundation’s first fully inclusive rugby hub at St Mary’s Old Boys RFC is gearing up for a summer celebration on Sunday, June 10th, as it prepares to host a fun-filled festival.

As the Community Foundation’s inclusive provision in walking sport and disability rugby continues to go from strength to strength, St Mary’s Old Boys became Bristol’s first rugby hub for all ages and all abilities last year, with weekly sessions held every Monday (6-8pm).

Combining walking rugby with national programme, Project Rugby, specialist inclusion coaches oversee a range of developmental activities and formats - including invasion games, dodgeball, walking and touch rugby – all with a view to providing inroads to mixed-ability rugby in the city.

The Foundation’s inclusion lead, Kris Tavender, highlighted the value of this approach:

“Not everyone will end up playing rugby as we see it here at Ashton Gate, but everyone does deserve the opportunity to access the game that we all love in a way that is appropriate and enjoyable to them.

“What we will get to see is a whole new demographic of rugby player, including older players, those returning from or carrying long term injury and illness, and players with disabilities. So, it’s exciting for sport in the city.”

St Mary’s inclusive hub will run alongside their O2 Touch programme, allowing everybody, regardless of age or ability, to join in the rugby fun.

Community development manager, Craig Capel, said: “Here at the Foundation, we know the immense value of our community clubs - not just in providing inclusive sessions for all, but also the ability to provide a truly family-friendly social space to enjoy sport, food and drink, as well as a wide range of social activities in a truly welcoming and accessible environment.

“As St Mary’s lead the way, we know there are many other clubs across the city that are also looking to develop similar ‘hub’ identities.”

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