The Spirit of Rugby

Pompey in the Community have been collaborating with Spirit of 2012 to deliver weekly rugby sessions at Bransbury Park to boys and girls of all abilities aged between 16 and 24 years old. We aim to educate our participants with the basic rules and key skills to ensure they can enjoy the sport and help support them if they decide to join a club. Our core group of volunteers lead the sessions and they are all extremely enthusiastic and energetic, delivering fun and enlightening sessions.

Spirit of 2012 is an independent trust funded by the Big Lottery Fund and aim to fund projects that empower people to get involved and feel better. They stemmed from the electric spirit that followed the London Olympic games and with rugby 7s included for the first time in Rio, what better time to try something new. One of the projects they have launched is to work in partnership with the RFU and increase the participation of men and women aged between 16-24 years old. Their aim at Spirit of 2012 is to invest in events to act as catalysts for change in people and communities across the U.

So far we have hit the ground running, increasing participants every week and gaining a good following from regular attendees. We held a tournament in October 2015 where we saw many eager rugby players turn up and played some fantastic touch rugby. The day was a success and everyone fully enjoyed the day and claiming their freebies at the end.

On Wednesday 6th April, we ran a Rugby Fun Day at Bransbury Park to open up rugby to the many young people that would be using the fantastic community site during their time of from school. Over 50 young people took part and we gave out over 40 Easter eggs to worthy winners of the fun stations we set up. Nelson even came down to try out a new sport and show all the young people how it is done.

Deanna Cowie, one the core volunteers is a first year college student and has been a key part of our volunteer led team here in Portsmouth since the project began. She is always motivated on session  and engages well with the participants. She has taken a keen interest in coaching and every week takes more responsibility in leading and teaching the participants new skills. Her personality allows her to engage with all participants which results in them participating in sessions when they usually wouldn’t. She is a positive role model for younger participants and also has an older female role model on the volunteer core group that she also can look to for further inspiration and encouragement.

Looking to the future Deanna wants to take her Level 1 rugby qualification to develop her own skills and allow her to bring more confidence to the session. She also has a keen interest in social media and currently runs our Facebook and Twitter, constantly thriving to find new participants and spread the word. Deanna Cowie won Spirit of Rugby Volunteer of the Month for March as nominated by RFU. She was recognised this by the Portsmouth SOR team for her efforts and this nomination and awarded some goodies as a thank you.

Our free sessions at Bransbury take place every Wednesday between 5 and 6pm and provide the perfect opportunity to learn something new and have fun at the same time. Every session is different and new games are played regularly. So if you fancy picking up a rugby ball or even being part of our volunteer team, please contact for more information or find us on Facebook page ‘Spirit Of Rugby’.

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