Stoop hosts Inclusive Rugby Festival

Wednesday, 19th September 2018 @ 15:30

Harlequins Foundation opens the Club’s doors to local and special educational needs and disabilities schools for a coaching day with Harlequins Ladies and Academy staff.

Over 250 children from local schools descended on The Stoop for an action-packed day at the Harlequins Foundation’s Inclusive Rugby Festival on Wednesday.

The festival was designed to showcase Project Rugby and SWITCH, the Club’s flagship grassroots girls’ rugby project.

A number of players from Harlequins Ladies and the Academy squad were on hand to help the children enjoy their day and learn about rugby values.


Harlequins Ladies front row Leah Lyons said: “It is a brilliant opportunity for young girls who live in the area to see what Harlequins is really about, to see what rugby is about and join this fantastic community spirit.

“Harlequins is proud to be a family club and by hosting events like these at The Stoop we are able to spread the word and get more local people involved at the Club.” 

The Harlequins Foundation delivers the Project Rugby programme, funded by Premiership Rugby and the RFU and as part of the project took the opportunity  to host a number of children from specialist schools to take part in the mixed-ability rugby and Quins’ Academy prospect Harry Barlow said he was delighted to be involved.

“You learn very quickly at Harlequins that there is so much more to the Club than the men’s and women’s teams playing on a weekend,” he said.

“The work that goes on to promote the game and the engagement with groups that might otherwise not get the chance to play rugby is inspiring and it has been a privilege to be involved.”   

Barlow was joined by fellow Academy players Hugh Tizard, Jack Musk, George Hammond and Luke James at The Stoop while Quins Ladies’ new signings Leah Lyons, Jade Konkel and Foundation ambassador Becky Rowe were also on hand to help the stars of tomorrow learn their skills.


Lucy Boiling, Head of PE at Tiffin Girls in Kingston, said: “Our girls have had a wonderful time here at The Stoop today.

“We received such a warm welcome, the training was first-class and the thrill of being able to play our rugby at a stadium like The Stoop was amazing.”

Marc Leckie, Head of Harlequins Foundation said: “It is always fantastic when you see the programmes we deliver in action.

“To have so many young people running around on the hallowed Stoop turf is incredible. It demonstrates how sport can be used to drive positive social change, whether that is promoting gender parity in sport, or ensuring there are opportunities for all to take part in our beloved sport, today is a clear indicator of the position the Club is taking in its approach to be a positive part of the communities we work in.”

Learn more about the Harlequins Foundation here.

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