Merton’s Harris Academy celebrates CBRE All Schools graduation with 100 other schools

Harris Academy Merton were the toast of the town this week after graduating alongside 100 schools across the country from a nationwide rugby programme. 

Harris Academy adopted the CBRE All Schools programme in 2013 and have since successfully engaged with girls and boys aged between 11–16 years old.

One hundred schools from across England were celebrated for helping to introduce more than 130,000 new students to rugby, thanks to completing a three-year programme developed by England Rugby.

Each of the 100 graduating schools was awarded a personalised plaque to mark their individual achievements.

Harris Academy introduced children to the sport, by running rugby training sessions during curriculum time and after school, so that thousands more pupils can experience and enjoy rugby throughout England.

Steve Grainger, rugby development director at the Rugby Football Union, hailed the efforts of Harris Academy and outlined the significant benefit the CBRE All Schools programme had been making across the UK.

He said: “It is great to see so many more people playing and engaging in rugby thanks to CBRE All Schools.

“The 100 graduating schools should be immensely proud of what they have achieved over the past three years.

“We are determined to keep the momentum up as we expand the programme further and work towards meeting our target of introducing 750 schools to the programme by Rugby World Cup in Japan 2019.”

With the help of Harris Academy the programme, now in its fourth year, has seen more than 130,000 state school students actively participate in rugby union across England, of which 35% are female, according to research by Sheffield Hallam University.

As well as increasing overall participation to rugby union, research also showed that 70% of young people taking part were more confident as a result.

Evidence also showed that the core values of rugby had also been adopted by staff and pupils alike, with nearly two thirds (63%) of schools reporting pupils showing signs of embodying teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship, demonstrating that CBRE All Schools can also have an impact on attitudes and behaviour in classrooms.

CBRE All Schools began in 2012 as a legacy programme to the Rugby World Cup with the aim of attracting one million students, across 750 schools to the sport by the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Ciaran Bird, managing director at CBRE UK added: “CBRE are very proud of all the achievements that have been made by the students, schools, coaches and clubs across England in ensuring rugby and its values are accessible throughout schools at all levels.

“Thanks to the persistence and passion of the teachers and coaches, 100 CBRE All Schools are able to provide more children opportunities to learn and develop through the skills and ethos gained through rugby.

“CBRE All Schools offers our staff the chance to give back – to teach, to share and to mentor children from different backgrounds and simply offer support to our local community.

“In return, we are able to give a platform for property, giving young people an understanding of our sector and gain access to a rich talent pool which could one day generate the leaders of our industry.”

England Rugby’s CBRE All Schools is a nationwide programme designed to create a sustained celebration of rugby and a lasting legacy for school children, schools and communities.

By 2019 CBRE All Schools aims to reach one million children who don’t currently play rugby.

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