October 31, 2008
Rugby has received two nominations in the category of "innovative scheme of the year" in the 2008 Essex Sports Awards to be presented next Thursday (November 6).
The ceremony hosted by BBC Essex sports presenter Glenn Speller at Waterfront Place in Chelmsford will see awards made in 10 categories overall.
The two rugby nominations are the RFU Community Leaders course and Ruggerbugs.
Ruggerbugs was launched in Harlow, Essex in July 2007, as a fun and exciting sports development programme based around non-contact rugby for children from 18 months to 5 years.
It is designed to promote and instil a fun and positive attitude to sport and fitness by encouraging pre-school children to participate in regular exercise from a young age.
Ruggerbugs now has five clubs running and over 230 children participating on a weekly basis, with no external funding.
It is also going to add its support in becoming a local "Change4life" partner as part of the national Change4life campaign being launched by the Department of Health in early 2009.
Chelmsford Prison physical education officer and rugby coach Nigel Seaman introduced the RFU Community Leaders Course to the prison and young offender institution in February 2008.
Seaman's nomination is a tribute to the way he overcame the doubts and fears of colleagues and other prisoners to deliver the course - believed to be the first rugby-themed programme of its kind in a UK prison.
It was led by Keith Green, the RFU's Essex Rugby Development Officer, assisted by other RFU coaches, tutors and referees.
In addition to learning to play the Tag version of rugby, the prisoners were taught other skills including coaching techniques. Of the original 20 participants, 19 passed with certificates in First Aid, Child Protection and the Community Sports Leaders Award, and are now eligible for progression to a Level 1 Rugby Coaching qualification. All 20 students on a second course also passed.
The "innovative scheme of the year" category of the Essex Sports Awards is sponsored by PAD Creative and the other nomination is the Disability Golf Foundation.
To find out more about the awards visit: http://www.sportessex.com/sports_awards.php?sportid=74.