Ospreys in the Community have received £5,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for TACKLE education: a leadership programme for young people from disadvantaged areas.
The £5,000 grant is just one of those made under the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All Programme which awarded £262,149 to 63 projects across Wales this June. The grants are made possible by National Lottery players as a percentage of the ticket price goes to good causes like this one.
Ospreys in the Community, the charitable arm of popular Swansea based Rugby Union Team the Ospreys, are working with schools in their local area to help the students move through a series of Leadership Awards which mean the 14 to 16 year olds could leave school with a new set of skills and even a qualification.
The group is learning rugby skills while moving through a programme starting with the I Can Lead Awards which will give 100 students the chance to help deliver sessions learning basic leadership skills. About half of the group will then have the opportunity to move to the Level 1 Leadership Awards – a more comprehensive course which develops confidence in planning structured activity programmes. The young people will also gain experience of working alongside the coaches and delivering some activities themselves. They will also have the chance to gain experience from opportunities such as assisting at Ospreys in the Community Rugby Camps and schools sessions during the coming season.
The first year of the programme has been well received. Coaches noticed that new friendships have formed. Tony Morgan, assistant head teacher at Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen commented
“Some of the students have made great improvements. Attendance, confidence, team work and the ability to communicate have all improved.”
One of the pupils described what they had gained from the project:
“TACKLE has helped make me more confident in everything. I’ve got job interviews and am going to college next year. It’s been amazing.
Dorian Evans, Ospreys in the Community co-ordinator for TACKLE said:
“The first year of TACKLE has gone really well. All schools have been very positive and definitely seen the benefit of the project. By using the Ospreys in the Community brand to engage, the project has been a big hit with the pupils also. This grant allows the programme to grow and give the students an added qualification in Year 2 which will have the added benefit of looking great on their CV’s. Offering the Level 1 qualification allows us to offer further development and progression. We could well see a number of TACKLE graduates helping in the community in the future, assisting with various sports and rugby clubs off the back of this grant.”