The Rodillian Academy in Leeds joined CBRE All Schools in September 2013. New to rugby, the school was quick to adopt the RFU’s core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. The Rodillian students were also quick to adapt to a game many of them had never played before, and were soon playing at a far higher level than other teams in the Emerging Schools network.
Indeed, since its introduction, the Rodillian Academy CBRE All Schools programme has gone from strength to strength, with the number of students playing rugby across two year groups increasing steadily. The students’ commitment and self-discipline has ensured that all participating teams have been successful on the pitch, surpassing the goals set for them as part of the Emerging Schools programme.
The Rodillian Academy Year 8 and Year 9 teams went on to win the White Rose school rugby tournament, and a Year 8 squad enjoyed an historic victory over Prince Henry’s Grammar School – a school with a proud rugby heritage that regularly makes the finals of the County Cup competition. In fact, the Rodillian Academy teams are now holding their own against some of the leading rugby-playing schools in the North of England.
“Not only have we become a force to be reckoned with on the rugby pitch, competing against some of the top rugby schools in the region, we’ve also noticed a real change and improvement in the students’ attendance and behaviour. Some students who previously didn’t seem to enjoy school that much are now visibly transformed; they clearly look forward to training and fixtures and their whole outlook and attitude to school has changed.”
The Quest Academy
At the Quest Academy in Croydon, CBRE All Schools has unearthed some genuine sporting talent and offered life-changing opportunities to certain young participants.
Of all the students who have embraced rugby at the school, there were two students that should get special mention. Twins arriving in England from Ghana via Spain showed astonishing natural talent for the game, and are now on a path to a new life of sporting excellence and opportunity.
As a result of their performances with the school team, the twins, alongside two other Quest Academy students, have been invited to join the Harlequins Inner London Developing Player Programme. They also have been offered sports scholarship trials for the prestigious Whitgift School – not bad for two boys who had never even seen a game of rugby, let alone played the sport, until the age of 12.
“The twins have come from nothing, really, and are now living on an estate in Croydon. For them to have developed so fast is extraordinary. It just shows how much the CBRE All Schools programme can open up new possibilities. We’ve also seen how the link with community clubs has helped students transition from school rugby to a higher level – we now have seven players from Quest playing for the local club, and one girl who’s just attended her first club training session.”
Tom Bevan, PE Techer, The Quest Academy
At St Michaels, CBRE All Schools has inspired a core group of girls to play rugby for the first time – both at school and local club level.
Following the programmes launch at St Michaels in September 2013, a handful of girls asked if they could get involved after watching the boys in training. A series of sessions was arranged, followed by a recruitment drive to enlist more female players for an all-girls school team.
Seeing the appetite and enthusiasm for rugby among the girls at St Michaels, the local club, invited them to train at the club’s facilities. These sessions took off and the club now has its first ever girls’ side – testament to the spirit of inclusivity and inspiration at the heart of CBRE All Schools. The excellent performances on the pitch have also been mirrored by a positive shift in attitude and behaviour in school, with many of the girls claiming that rugby has helped to improve their confidence, concentration and self-esteem.