Wimbledon leads the way with Inclusive Rugby

In the year when Wimbledon Rugby Club is celebrating its 150th year it is once again pioneering the growth of rugby in the community. It was a founder member of the RFU and its original captain L.J. Maton drafted the laws of the game. Now, in its anniversary year, one of the highlights has been the launch of its Inclusive Rugby section. It provides coaching to children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disabilities and the group is run alongside the Under-6 to Under-18 Mini and Youth sections.

Launched by Club Chair John Woods and run in conjunction with the RFU’s Inclusive Rugby programme, the sessions are run by coaches Edward Beale and Steph Laventure, both of whom have many years’ experience coaching various age groups at the club. “I don’t think of it as running a “special” group of any kind, “said Steph. “I just run a coaching session. It is enormous fun and the kids have come on so much you can’t help but feel proud of them.”

The sessions take place each Sunday morning at the club’s Barham Road ground and the group comprises of boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 12. They take part in a series of drills and the only tackling uses tags. Those players who pick the game up well use it as a stepping stone into mainstream rugby, with their parents’ and their agreement, but the main aim of the group is for the youngsters to have fun.
Anyone interested in joining the sessions or in learning more about them can contact Hannah Cianfarani at: inclusiverugby@wmrfc.co.uk

Pictured below are some of the children from the Inclusive Rugby group:

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