Butch James kicks off new Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme

Article date: 19 October 2010

Aviva and Premiership Rugby today launched a new schools rugby programme at Bath Rugby’s Farleigh House training ground, designed to broaden both interest and participation in the game.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme represents a significant investment (£2 million) by Aviva into the grass roots level of the game, that will go towards supporting over 15,000 man hours of coaching and reaching more than 36,000 pupils aged 9–11 years old from 600 primary schools in England over each of the next four seasons.

Pupils from both Batheaston Primary School and St Andrew’s Primary School participated in a session as part of the programme with South African international Butch James and Scott Hobson teaching the youngsters the basics of the game. 

Butch James of Bath Rugby said: “The programme is a great idea and will help nurture young English talent of the future as well as giving young people more confidence and inspiration to enjoy sport and keep fit. It’s also targeting non-traditional rugby playing schools, so hopefully it will bring a whole new audience to the game.” 

Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said: "Rugby Union is one of our great national sports so it is important that we continue to develop the game at the grassroots level, particularly in advance of a home World Cup in 2015. Aviva's investment is a great opportunity to enthuse young people about rugby union across the country, giving them the opportunity to experience the sport with specialist rugby coaches."

Heather Smith, head of sponsorship at Aviva UK, said: “This announcement highlights our commitment of working with Premiership Rugby to grow participation in the sport. Through the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme we are proud to be helping develop and inspire the next generation of rugby players to take up rugby and hopefully unearth young England stars of the future along the way.

"Moreover, we feel that this programme encapsulates the importance of delivering real benefit to communities through rugby and helps towards the creation of a sustainable legacy for the sport.”

Wayne Morris, head of community at Premiership Rugby, added: “The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is a fantastic opportunity for children to get to know the sport of rugby, learn new skills and gain in confidence.  We have a great partnership with Aviva and they share our commitment in helping develop the grassroots of the game in new rugby playing schools.”



Contact details:

Aviva Rugby Press Office
Ed Leech – 07917 111349, Edward.leech@hillandknowlton.com

Premiership Rugby
Simon Lewis - 020 8831 7909, slewis@premiershiprugby.com
Laura Bogard - 020 8831 7910, lbogard@premiershiprugby.com

Notes to editors:

About Aviva
Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009.

Aviva are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe.

For more information on Aviva visit www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive

* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

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