London, November 17th, 2008, London Skolars Rugby League and Exchange Data International (EDI) announce that Sportsmatch has been granted for their 2008/2009 joint EDI Urban Rugby programme. Sportmatch, funded by Sport England, recognises organisations running projects which help increase sport participation in the community.
The EDI Urban Rugby programme reaches out to children and teenagers in inner-city estates and seeks to raise sporting participation for young people. Urban Rugby is a modified, non-contact version of Rugby League promoting healthy living and respect. It aims to help reduce crime levels and anti-social behaviour. Following the programme, participants are invited to join their Local Skolars Community sports club to develop their sporting practice further.
In 2008, underprivileged areas in Haringey, estates such as Ferry Lane, Broadwater Farm, Campsbourne & Northumberland Park have enjoyed the Skolars delivered EDI Urban Rugby programme. It has encouraged a positive community atmosphere of respect and participation amongst the young people. It is hoped that they will continue to play impromptu games of Urban Rugby on common grounds and within their school yard.
“EDI is pleased to take part in this brilliant project. In addition to the social role the EDI Urban Rugby programme has in the Haringey community, we believe there is also an educational aspect to this project; youngsters are given the opportunity to learn and develop their team work and communication skills which are important life skills”, said Jonathan Bloch, C.E.O and Founder of EDI who is also a local councillor in Haringey.
Urban Rugby has also acted as a “Talent spotter” and has given the opportunity for three promising teenagers to join the professional Rugby League ranks. 17 year olds Andre Vine, Smokie Junor and Jaroslaw Obuchowski, have joined the North London under 18s team to compete in the Gillette National Youth League. Following their impressive performance, they have been offered a contract to play for the London Skolars in the Co-operative National League in 2009.
“Being offered a contract with a professional club is a dream come true. I remember getting involved for the first time playing on my estate with my mates in our tracksuit bottoms! We are now kitted like professional and train hard, it’s fantastic!” has declared young Rugby League enthusiast Andre Vine just after signing his first contract.
London Rugby League fanatics are eagerly anticipating the 2009 Co-operative National League season in order to follow the progress of the three promising local talent. “We would like to address our special thanks to Sportsmatch and EDI whom have made this project possible”, said Hector McNeil, London Skolars RLFC Managing Director. “Urban Rugby actively encourages young people to succeed in sport and develop a sense of self worth. Three of them have now gained the possibility to play professional Rugby League at a very young age. We are delighted to offer them this opportunity.”
For more information, please contact: Benjamin Araud
Community Development Manager
0208 888 8488