England Rugby, alongside Activity Alliance, recently launched an initiative to increase the participation levels of disabled people in the sport.
Breaking Down Barriers
The new Disability Action Plan aims to encourage diversity and inclusion at club level. The three-year plan will involve working alongside current clubs to provide appropriate environments for both disabled and able-bodied athletes.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) development director, Steve Grainger, is a strong advocate for inclusion for all. Of the Disability Action Plan, he said:
“We want to remove any perceived barriers and to encourage real diversity and inclusion, with help and encouragement from players and coaches alike. We believe that rugby is a sport for all. The RFU wants to offer the warmest possible welcome to disabled people so that they can play and take part in the sport.”
Three initial areas have been identified to help implement the plan. The first is to promote rugby as an inclusive sport. England Rugby hope to encourage more disabled players into trying the sport and believing it’s a team game they can not only compete in, but thrive in.
The second focuses on coaches and members of current clubs and their confidence in delivering a successful programme for all players.
The third will concentrate on future proofing the plan. This includes further and focussed skill development of disabled players. The long-term aim is to create partnerships with specialists within the sport for disabled people.
The Winning Formula
The RFU is fully committed to providing the necessary training for development officers and clear visibility of what’s on offer for budding disabled sport stars.
In pairing with Activity Alliance who “challenge perceptions and change the reality of disability, inclusion and sport” the future looks bright for a more inclusive English Rugby Union.”