- Students sing national anthem in bespoke Canterbury shirts
- Prince Harry-backed All Schools programme gathers pace
Belting out the national anthem on the pitch with captain Chris Robshaw, 100 students had a day to remember before England’s RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales at Twickenham Stadium.
The group of school children proudly wore the bespoke rugby shirts they crafted at Canterbury kit design workshops last year and sang in front of 82,000 fans with England Rugby’s official anthem singer Laura Wright.
The workshops were part of All Schools, England Rugby’s programme to get more secondary state schools playing rugby, and of which Canterbury is Official Partner. The students were presented with their kits in the morning before taking part in a rehearsal with choreographer Simon Lole to prepare them for their big moment.
Just before kick-off they gathered on the pitch behind Laura, also sporting her own bespoke shirt she created at one of the workshops in her role as an ambassador for All Schools. After accompanying her through God Save The Queen, the pupils left the pitch and headed to their seats to sit back and enjoy the game, watching England defeat Wales 29-18 with tries from Danny Care and Luther Burrell.
During the kit design workshops the pupils got to learn about the core values of the game and the importance of what a rugby shirt represents, before putting their thoughts and designs to paper. The final designs were signed off by the school before Canterbury took them away to prepare the students’ artwork for production, leading to the official reveal at Twickenham.
All Schools, of which Prince Harry is Patron, was set up by the Rugby Football Union in partnership with the Rugby Football Foundation to get 750 new state secondary schools playing rugby by 2019 and to encourage new players to join local clubs.
Schools that are new to rugby are supported over three years, with kit and equipment, as well as coaching and young leaders training. More than 200 schools are already participating in the programme.