Internationally acclaimed training programme Get Into Rugby is coming to Barbados this year.
After a very successful trial run from August to December 2014, involving approximately 25 children form both primary and secondary schools, the Barbados Rugby Football Union (BRFU) will be officially launching this activity later this month.
The Get Into Rugby programme is part of the World Rugby’s (formerly International Rugby Board) strategy to grow the game globally in partnership with member regions and unions. The programme is a central part of the World Rugby initiative to grow rugby as it rejoins the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.º
The aim of the programme is to encourage players of all ages to try, play and stay in rugby. Get Into Rugby will promote the values of the game and ensure children are encouraged to try rugby in a safe and progressive environment.
The initial phase of the programme will be to get children to try rugby in clubs, schools and local communities in order to learn and experience the values, passion, principles and skills of rugby. This will be supported by trained coaches, teachers and leaders. They are free to utilize games for teachers and coaches to use.
The try phase of the programme is designed to consist entirely of non-contact rugby. In the next phase, players will progress to play the game in a safe, fun environment – in leagues, festival events and programmes, after an initial training period. Once more, they are free to employ games for teachers and coaches to use.
In the play phase, contact is introduced for the first time in a safe and progressive manner so that players gradually learn the skills needed to play contact rugby.
The focus of the stay stage will be to support players to progress and stay in rugby as a player, coach, referee, administrator, volunteer or fan in joining teams, clubs, communities and national unions.
Rugby is already being promoted at several primary and secondary schools across the island, including Queen’s College, Harrison College, Princess Margaret, Christ Church Foundation, Providence and St George Primary.
Last year the national U19 Rugby Team placed second in the annual North America Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Tournament held in Trinidad and Tobago, and were beaten only by Mexico. Later this year several overseas teams ranging from Under-18s to veterans will be in Barbados for an average of seven days per team.