Robin joined local Primary pupils for a special class at Sixways last Friday as he visited the “on the front foot” programme supported by Premier Rugby.

The MP joined pupils from Worcester’s Perry Wood Primary in a special class, supported by the award winning Warriors Community Foundation, all about the values of rugby and saw how these can contribute to valuable character education. The session came the day after Education Secretary Nicky Morgan hosted a conference on character education and spoke out about the importance of resilience and teamwork amongst school pupils.

The Secretary of State’s speech can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/nicky-morgan-opens-character-symposium-at-floreat-school

Robin, who is Nicky Morgan’s PPS is also a diehard fan of the Warriors, he saw how Community coach Ben worked with the children to talk about how sports stars need to work hard and nurture qualities such as resilience, dedication and teamwork to achieve. The session also set out how a club like the Warriors isn’t just about the players themselves but a much wider group of people who support them, the supporters and the business around them.

The children from Perry Wood, some of whom had never been to a major sports stadium before, were shown around Sixways Stadium and had a chance to ask questions about rugby and the characteristics of professional sportspeople. The “on the front foot” programme helps to develop confidence by getting children to identify their own personal strengths and what they can bring to a team.

Following his visit Robin said

“I have long been an admirer of the great work that the Warriors do in education and I have visited some of their programmes in local schools as well as celebrated their awards in Westminster. It was brilliant to see how a programme such as “on the front foot” can help build confidence in young people and help them to understand the importance of qualities such as resilience and teamwork.”

“It is always a pleasure to visit Sixways but particularly so when I can see the Club’s community activities providing real benefit to local school children. I know how important the issue of character education is in the Department of Education and it is really great to see my local club and my favourite sport playing their part in supporting this agenda. The enthusiasm with which the pupils took part and the excitement on their faces when they came into the stadium showed what an excellent programme this is.”

Notes to editors

“On The Front Foot uses rugby and its core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to instil character and resilience in mainstream and disaffected children. Funded by the Department for Education, the programme takes rugby’s values into primary and secondary schools, using a six-week classroom and rugby activity programme. An hour in the classroom is followed by an hour on the pitch.

The programme builds resilience, focus and confidence at key academic and personal transitions – moving from primary to secondary school, choosing GSCE options and taking GCSE exams. It also works with young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs). By 2015/16, On the Front Foot will have:

  • Increased the resilience, focus and confidence of up to 10,530 Year 6 children ahead of secondary school
  • Enhanced the focus, discipline, confidence and aspiration of up to 3,900 year 9, 10 or 11 pupils in 156 classes and up to 2,340 kinesthetic and at risk learners through 156 after school groups”

The website for the ‘On The Front Foot’ programme can be found here:

http://www.premiershiprugby.com/community/breakthru/on-the-front-foot.php

Worcester Warriors release can be found here:

http://www.warriors.co.uk/news/9160.php#.VqZQ68jajhS