Troubled Teen to England Success
BRISTOL schoolgirl Lucie Skuse is walking proof rugby really does have the ability to make a difference and change lives.
The 14-year-old, who attends King’s Oak Academy School, was suffering with behavioural issues and had been excluded from many of her lessons.
However, the integration of England Rugby’s nationwide programme called CBRE All Schools transformed Lucie’s life, helping her to grow in confidence, take personal responsibility and, most importantly, realise her potential in the classroom and on the rugby field.
Lucie has really maximised her opportunity, taking her Level One coaching qualification, as well as volunteering as a Young Rugby Ambassador and completing a Young Leaders Award, while she is also a player to watch having been selected for the England Under-18 touch programme, while she also officiates matches.
“The CBRE All Schools scheme is really good – it has helped to change my life,” said Lucie. “I got involved in the programme three years ago – I used to be a naughty girl at school and I used to lack a lot of discipline. I think playing rugby has changed things around for me and has helped to up my discipline on and off the field.
I’ve had such a good experience, I have done so many things, it has brought me on and I can’t even explain how much it has helped me. My long-term goal is to make the England squad and also the Bristol squad – I think if I put my mind to it then I can do it. I know I just need to keep my head down at school now and get on with it.”
Mike Panaho, Community Rugby Coach who is part of the RFU local Rugby Development Team and has worked closely with Lucie, says:
“Lucie had problems at school, behavioural problems in particular but a year down the track she’s an amazing ambassador for rugby and also for CBRE themselves,” he said. “She’s involved with England touch at 15 and plays for the 18s side, in years to come I think she will be a pretty good player.”
Claire Winscombe, who trains Lucie at her school and also at evening sessions at Kingswood Rugby Club, has seen firsthand the transformation.
Since becoming a coach, Claire has helped grow the women’s game within both the school and club, with Lucie at the forefront of the development.
“Lucie is more focussed, she’s doing better at school and she has become a brilliant all-round girl. She has a focus, her absolute passion is rugby and it’s just brilliant to side her development. Through the programme I have registered more girls who have come across to Kingswood, which has been fantastic for them and the club. I go in and coach them during their school time, they love the rugby and they clearly learn a lot from it.”
WATCH Lucy’s Story: Her road to England Success