Sale Sharks are delivering a coaching programme for youngsters at Eden Boys’ School, Bolton as part of a wider initiative that aims to bring rugby to a wide range of audiences across the region.
Community coaches from the only Premiership rugby club in the North West will run training sessions over 12 weeks with 14 and 15 year olds from the school, which is part of the highly regarded Multi-Academy Trust, Tauheedul Education Trust.
The coaching forms part of a broader programme for Premiership Rugby, funded by England Rugby, which will see Sale Sharks work with groups from a variety of different backgrounds, including those from low socio-economic areas, black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and people with physical and learning impairments.
It also comes after Printerland, a leading reseller of printers and consumables and major corporate and community partner of Sale Sharks, invited pupils and teachers from Eden Boys’ School to the club’s most recent Premiership match against Newcastle Falcons.
Head of Sale Sharks Community Trust, Jonny Acheson, said: “Eden Boys’ School offers a high quality sports provision for its pupils, but currently doesn’t have any rugby activity.
“As part of this exciting 12-week programme, we are looking to introduce youngsters to the sport. We will also be holding a weekly session at Bolton Rugby Club, where the youngsters will be welcomed to continue playing the sport.”
He added: “Printerland kindly purchased the school tickets to Sale Sharks’ thrilling Premiership victory over Newcastle at the AJ Bell Stadium, which gave pupils the chance to see professional rugby, up-close and in person. They even met some players, which has added to the anticipation of the upcoming coaching programme.”
Eden Boys’ School is an inclusive, progressive and outward-looking Muslim faith-based secondary school that opened in September 2014 and now has more than 380 students.
Shabir Fazal, Headteacher at Eden Boys’ School, said: “The partnership with Sale Sharks and Bolton RUFC is a perfect match for us. Our boys love the idea of trying something new and breaking down barriers. Watching Sale Sharks on a freezing Friday evening was just fabulous; watching them win in such a close game even better. It was really cold, but the boys loved it and were immensely grateful to Printerland for their generosity. Getting onto the pitch at half-time just capped off a perfect day. We are really looking forward to the Sale Sharks coaching staff coming into school. I’m convinced that one day one of our boys will be playing Rugby at BRUFC and hopefully for Sale!”
Graham Vickers, co-founder of Printerland, added: 0“Introducing rugby to new audiences is a major part of why Printerland is a partner of Sale Sharks. For the pupils at Eden Boys’ School, rugby was a sport that was virtually unknown not long ago. To see the youngsters engage with both Premiership players and get a close up view of the sport was fascinating. I’m also excited about how the pupils take to the Sale Sharks community coaching sessions.”