England’s most internationally capped rugby player Jason Leonard OBE visited Heston Community School today, to celebrate its achievements as one of 100 schools to graduate from CBRE All Schools
RFU President Jason Leonard presented a Graduation plaque to Head Teacher Phil Ward, and Head of PE Stuart Howkins, to honor the school and Stuart’s personal success in embedding rugby as a sport and an ethos within the school.
Heston Community School joined CBRE All Schools in 2013. As part of the second phase of 100 schools to join, it struggled to get the belief of the teachers and students of its impact and benefits. It took Stuart Howkin’s personal commitment to really get the students engaged with rugby and encourage fellow teachers, and students to stick with it.
Thanks to Stuart’s passion and persistence, rugby is now played throughout the school at all levels. Stuart has also built strong links with local club Feltham RFC, where 30 students have transitioned to play for their community, and with a strong group of young leaders who work within the local community running primary school tag rugby festivals.
RFU President Jason Leonard OBE said: “CBRE All Schools is an important legacy strand for the RFU in sustaining growth of the game. For Heston and the 99 other CBRE All Schools graduating from the programme, they should be immensely proud of what they have achieved over the past three years. I’m privileged to be part of the graduation celebrations today.”
Stuart Howkins, Head of PE at Heston Community School said of the day: “Today has been fantastic. We have been working tirelessly for the last three years to get our kids playing rugby. It was tough at the start as there were a lot of misunderstandings about the sport, but we’ve worked hard to engage with the kids and the parents and it’s really progressed. Now we have strong groups from year 7’s to our year 10’s who have really grasped the sport and are playing really well.”
During his visit, the former England star got the chance to meet students and participants of the CBRE All Schools and gave the students some tips on warm ups, drills, passing and general rugby techniques.
Student Gurjeevan Ponaich, age 13 added: “Rugby is a good sport for teaching teamwork. You need to know how to work together. I never considered playing before. I wasn’t sure how, but when Mr Howkins started with us it was fun. He kept getting me to play and then I enjoyed it. It’s taught me teamwork, discipline and how we need to work together. Meeting Jason was great. Everything he’s done for us to play rugby is great. I’d love to play for England.”
Heston Community School is one of 400 state secondary schools taking part in CBRE All Schools across the nation. Each of 100 the Graduating schools will receive a plaque to mark their achievements and will be celebrated at a graduation event at Twickenham on the 29th May 2016.
CBRE is delighted to be part of the celebrations for Heston Community School in graduating from CBRE All Schools. Over the past 3 years, the involvement of teachers like Stuart Howkins has demonstrated what a huge difference their support can make to the engagement of students and the programme’s success.