In the UK we deliver an accredited programme of skills development to young people from deprived communities. Many of the young people we work with have become disillusioned with the mainstream education system, and the TRT format provides an accessible, engaging way to develop employable, transferrable skills, whilst having fun.
In 2011 the Trust began working with two inner-city youth groups: a group of six boys from Coram’s Fields in Camden, and a group of seven girls from Hackney Quest, Hackney. The two groups were dubbed the Tag Rugby Rebels and Titans respectively.
The Rebels and the Titans took part in an 18-month programme of leadership training – supported by TRT volunteers and mentors from a variety of industry backgrounds. Throughout the training process the two groups worked with local sports groups for children and young people, sharing what they had learned as coaches and referees. They also ran a series of fundraising activities, supported by TRT, and the money raised enabled them to take their skills to the more challenging environment of Zambia.
Here, despite the linguistic and cultural barriers, they coached and mentored groups of local children. Their time in Zambia culminated in the organisation of a local school’s Tag Rugby Tournament. This required a great deal of determination and resourcefulness – teaching large groups of children how to play the game, training them, and managing the final event – from venue set up, to refereeing, to prize giving.
Once back in the UK, the Rebels and the Titans were encouraged to continue this work by mentoring the next generation of Young Leaders in their youth groups, and this model of transferring new skills has proved most effective. It’s clear that the impact of going to Zambia has lasted well beyond the duration of the visit.