‘It’s been immense – they’ve now got an Overchurch School dance inspired by the Haka!’
Sale Sharks Foundation and Merseyside Police have joined forces to engage and inspire primary school children through the power of rugby.
Knife crime, cyberbullying, illegal e-scooters, and other offences are all discussed in classroom sessions with police officers, while outdoor tag rugby sessions are delivered by Sharks community coaches.
The programme aims to prevent crime through early intervention and by introducing children to an alternative hobby.
Police Officer Emily Scarratt, who delivers the classroom sessions, said: “Children who commit antisocial behaviour are often bored and don’t have a hobby.
“Hopefully the conversations we have today will help inform the children to make positive choice as they grow up.”
The first week of the programme was delivered to over 220 children in Wirral in multiple schools, including 96 children in Overchurch Junior School.
Libby Nixon, year six teacher at Overchurch Junior School, said: “The children have loved it. The values of rugby reflect the values we have here at our school and the Sharks coaches have been fantastic.”
Merseyside Police Officer William Hughes said: “It’s been immense, they’ve now got an Overchurch School dance inspired by the Haka, so hopefully that’s something that they’ll remember and take away with them.
“Historically we tend to find that rugby players have a certain mindset that is consistent with good behaviour in the community. What we’re trying to do is grow the game and grow positive behaviours across our community.”
After its positive reception, early plans to expand the programme are already underway, with rugby clubs in the North West invited to host sessions for older teenagers. The sessions will focus on risk-taking ahead of a joint rugby session.
To find out more or get involved, email email@example.com.