As Nicky Morgan and Premiership Rugby Clubs Launch 'On the Front Foot', Tours 4 Sport Examines How Rugby Can Build Character.

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In the week that the Rugby World Cup kicks off in England, the Education Secretary has launched a new scheme to harness the character building qualities of the sport. Leading school sports tour operator, Tours 4 Sport, investigates.

School Rugby Tour

School Rugby Tour

Rugby is a sport that values respect...It is also a sport that fosters resilience...[and] centres on teamwork...These are all vitally important lessons for young people to learn.

As rugby fever grips England with the start of the Rugby World Cup, Nicky Morgan, the Minister for Education, has teamed up with Aviva Premiership rugby clubs to launch 'On the Front Foot', an initiative designed to harness the character building power of rugby to help disadvantaged and disaffected children in their local communities.

As a sport, rugby takes very seriously what it considers to be its core values - so much so that the IRB has inscribed these in its World Rugby Playing Charter. Key among these are integrity, discipline and respect. Morgan believes that “all young people can learn from rugby – it teaches you how to bounce back from defeat, how to respect others and how to work together.”

This is a belief that is also held by leading school sports tour operator, Tours 4 Sport. Sports Tours Director, Sam Jennings, who is himself a former professional rugby player, explains: “Rugby is a sport that values respect towards other players, officials, coaches and supporters. It is also a sport that fosters resilience – all young rugby players will experience defeat, but they will also learn to use that experience to make themselves and their team stronger. In addition to this, rugby is a sport that centres on teamwork. No matter how good one individual is, a rugby team can only succeed when they work together, as one unit. These are all vitally important lessons for young people to learn.”

This new initiative has been devised to provide young people with a real opportunity to fulfil their potential, by ensuring that they are equipped with essential skills that they will need in later life, whether they continue their studies, or enter employment or training. The young people targeted are those who, for various reasons, may not have the opportunity to enjoy such an experience otherwise.

With the spotlight on rugby thanks to the World Cup, schools can also use the sport’s core values to provide students with the opportunity to develop these essential skills. In particular, a school rugby tour offers fantastic benefits. As Jennings explains, “A school rugby tour combines the opportunity to work on things like respect, discipline and teamwork, as well as providing students with all the benefits of travel. Experiencing other cultures and having the opportunity to interact with opponents from another country develops intercultural understanding and widens horizons – vital in an increasingly global jobs market.”

Tours 4 Sport is a fully-accredited school sports tour operator that arranges a variety of sports tours, from training camps to international tournaments, for most sports practised in schools. As all Tours 4 Sport school sports tours are completely tailor-made, the company’s Sports Tour Specialists are able to ensure that all groups return home having enjoyed the best, most inspirational sporting experience for them, where they were able to focus on the values and skills most important to them.

Tours 4 Sport is the specialist sports tour department of leading school tour operator, Halsbury Travel, which has been providing educational trips for nearly 30 years. Head of Sports Tours, Sam Jennings, is a former professional rugby player and continues to coach his national league side. Jennings co-founded Tours 4 Sport in 2005 and the company was acquired by Halsbury Travel in 2011.

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Katie Sharkey
since: 07/2009
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