Sharks Community Trust’s partnership with Cheshire Police aims to tackle anti-social behaviour on the streets by providing young people within the area with a unique opportunity to get involved with rugby.

Trust coaches delivered a number of tag rugby sessions to over 60 young people to help them develop essential life skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership all whilst having fun. Each age group worked on different physical skills, with the youngest group for example, focusing on running, changing direction through tag rugby and ball games, whilst the older group enjoyed getting muddy through wrestling games, learning about passing the ball and trying to grasp the rules of rugby. The programme also looked at developing social skills and improving wellbeing as the Police provided the young people with hot food and drinks after their session; helping to strengthen their relationship within the community.

Runcorn was chosen as an area for Rugby In The Park as there are fewer opportunities for young people, and where anti-social behaviour has become a prevalent issue within the community, often resulting in run-ins with the police. Working alongside Runcorn police, this project enabled the children to see a different side to their local Police Officers as well as building a sense of trust to help decrease anti-social behaviour.

The vast majority of participants taking part had never touched a rugby ball before this project however, following our delivery, it wasn’t long until they were in the stands cheering Sale Sharks on when they took on Harlequins in January. Since participating in Rugby in the Park, one of the players, Mason has now joined his local rugby team and even had the opportunity to meet World Cup Winner, Faf de Klerk.

.Vicky Irwin, Community Development Manager said

“The impact of this project is fantastic, notably we had some of the older participants coming down earlier to help coach and support the younger age group. The project witnessed a huge increase in participants confidence and improvements in the way the young people interacted with not only Sale Sharks staff but with the Police personnel. As a Trust, we are excited about rolling this project out within other areas of the North West.”

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