Project Rugby

Project Rugby is a joint initiative between Premiership Rugby and England Rugby designed to increase participation in the game by people from traditionally underrepresented groups.

The groups targeted are:

  • Black Asian & Minority Ethnic People
  • People from Lower Socio-Economic backgrounds (top 30% IMD)
  • Disabled People

Key Aims

The programme will engage thousands of participants per year with the following key outcomes:                  
•     Transition participants from Project Rugby activity into regular rugby participation at their local rugby club
•     Improving individual wellbeing and perceptions of self
•     Reduce social isolation and improving levels of social connectedness
•     Challenge existing perceptions of the game, positioning rugby as a sport for anyone regardless of background, ability or gender

Impact and Outcomes

  • 1510 individuals from Bristol, South Glos North & South Somerset have participated in the programme
  • 416 participants registered as being from BAME background
  • 579 participants registered from the top 30% IMD
  • More than 560 children made use of complimentary tickets to attend a Bristol Bears fixture
  • 57 participants who engaged in Project Rugby have transitioned to their local rugby club

Programme Structure

The structure is based on 3 strands: Engagement, Transition, Retention: 

  • Engagement focuses on delivery within a school environment and is based on an introduction to a rugby theme. It involves 6 sessions with a specific group over a single term of delivery                                             
  • Transition brings in to focus local rugby clubs and involves interaction between new players and club coaches with support from BBCF staff. Individuals now look more at rugby-specific coaching including contact and set-piece.                                                                                                                                                        
  • Retention is a series of follow-up/support sessions between BBCF and rugby clubs to provide continued support, advice and assistance to ensure those new young players remain in the game.                                                            


"Project Rugby is THE best initiative I have been involved in, in my 21 years of being a PE teacher!  There is a clear pathway, there is a significant amount of time committed to each group. The coaching we received was superb, the girls loved the coach. There are incentives, they feel part of something and it was followed through. 15 of my girls joined a local rugby club. Many of them are still there and now they are going on to volunteer to be coaches. I love Project Rugby!"

"Project rugby has been the highlight of the year for some of our girls here at Fairfield.By implementing rugby into the curriculum our girls experienced first hand coaching in a fun,motivated and controlled environment. As a PE teacher I have had the joy of seeing a range of pupils thrive in a new sport and develop a range of skills as well as build solid relationships with coaches.It has been great to see the pupils push themselves outside of their comfort zones and get stuck in.The project has not only taught a sense of discipline and belonging for some of our most challenging pupils but it has also provided the pupils with a range of extra curricular opportunities to compete at venues such as Ashton gate which gives them invaluable experience and memories."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Programme Contact Details

For more information or to book Project Rugby for your school, please contact Rich Hynes.