RFU and Old Mutual Wealth launch new approach to kids’ rugby
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Old Mutual Wealth today launched Old Mutual Wealth Kids First Rugby, a new approach to rugby for the U7 to U13 age groups which puts children at the heart of rugby activity at clubs and schools across the country.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones joined Old Mutual Wealth Ambassadors and England players Alex Goode and Sarah Hunter at a special launch event at Grasshoppers RFC. They took part in a coaching session with 60 eight to ten year olds from the club who were part of the pilot scheme and students from local schools who were experiencing the new approach for the first time.
Commenting on the afternoon’s activity England Head Coach Eddie Jones, said: “It’s been great to come here to Grasshoppers and take part in this Old Mutual Wealth Kids First session. It’s so important for players to develop core rugby skills from a young age – learning about passing and how to look for space. I think this new approach will ensure that kids playing rugby get more opportunities and time on the ball. We’ve certainly had a lot of fun today.”
From today, Old Mutual Wealth Kids First becomes “the game” for clubs, schools and players at Under 13 and below. This new approach is part of a wider review of called Age Grade Rugby, led by the RFU, which begins in September. Age Grade Rugby follows a four year study and includes the roll out of the New Rules of Play following a 28-club pilot scheme. We are asking clubs and schools to commit to:
- Put children at the heart of everything they do and all decisions they make
- Encourage fun on the pitch, through equal opportunity and realistic expectations of children
- Develop children’s confidence and character as players and as people, challenging any behaviour that conflicts with this
- Build adults’ skills to provide a safe, healthy, respectful and enjoyable environment for children
- Champion rugby’s core values, inspiring a lifelong bond between children, adults and rugby
RFU Head of Education Development Mark Saltmarsh explained the new approach: “Old Mutual Wealth Kids First is about enhancing the rugby experience for kids through an approach, on and off the pitch that is centred on them. It’s all about helping kids develop and learn the game at their own pace, and making sure they have plenty of fun while playing. We’re asking rugby clubs and schools across the country to take the pledge to commit to a range of high quality standards.”
The RFU will provide additional resources and support to clubs and schools that sign up to and deliver Old Mutual Wealth Kids First, helping them to run an improved programme and to be recognised for doing so.
Saltmarsh added: “We’ve done a lot of research into this over the past few years, taking on feedback from kids themselves about what they want from rugby. We’re confident this new approach will appeal to kids, parents, coaches and teachers alike, as it is based on kids’ motivations and developing their rugby at stages relevant to their age.”
Michelle Andrews, Marketing Director, Old Mutual Wealth, explained the reasons for the business supporting this initiative: “We are thrilled to be title sponsors of Kids First, and we look forward to playing our part in developing the future of the game. This is the next stage of our Principal Partnership with England Rugby and it is important to us that our partnership goes beyond just the branding.
“Helping the next generation to get the most out of rugby is an excellent way of showing our commitment not just to the England teams of today, but to those of the future too. Kids First is an excellent idea because it ensures fun is at the centre of coaching and allows children to develop at their own pace.”
For more information visit www.englandrugby.com/kidsfirst