Dell launches Festival of Touch Rugby

25 Sep 2015

Dell is partnering with the likes of Beyond Sport, Action for Children, HITZ Rugby and England Touch to launch its inaugural Dell Festival of Touch Rugby.

Using touch rugby as a mechanism to increase young peoples’ resilience and confidence, the event will offer an environment for under-served young people to receive coaching and mentoring from rugby players, such as Maggie Alphonsi, and hear how they can apply skills learned on the field in the real world.

Taking place at the Richmond Athletic Ground on 29th October, the Dell Festival of Touch Rugby will focus on the ability of sport to motivate and influence individuals to reach their full potential.

The teams taking part will include young people aged 14-18 from around the UK, who are currently involved with HITZ Rugby, the UK’s largest rugby social inclusion programme.

HITZ Rugby’s Helen Clayton commented: “We are at risk of losing a whole generation to a cycle of unemployment, disillusionment and disengagement from productive society.  The ethos of rugby develops grit, tenacity and perseverance that the HITZ programme and its partners helps kids prepare for the world of work. Teaming up with Dell will give the young people involved in our programme the chance to showcase their talents and meet some of their heroes.”

As part of this event and wider initiatives, Dell is working with Beyond Sport to promote, support and celebrate the use of sport to address social issues in communities around the world.

Beyond Sport will be hosting Beyond Rugby on 19th October with Dell as the supporting partner. The one day event will bring together senior stakeholders from the world of rugby with NGO’s, political leaders, key business organisations and academics, to set an agenda on how rugby can be used to promote positive social change in communities that need it most. Find out more here.

On the day, coaching sessions will be run by England Touch, together with a tournament and a workshop aimed at demonstrating the real-life application of the values learned on the field, to be hosted by Action for Children.

The workshop will share insight from Action for Children’s ‘Inspire IT’ programme, which provides online learning facilities and training to help young people improve their skills and level the employment playing field by eliminating digital exclusion. Action for Children and Dell team members will be in attendance to share best practice methods for connecting with employers, educators or friends and family digitally and use the attributes they’ve learned on the field to target and secure new opportunities.

Tim Griffin, vice president and managing director, Dell UK and Welsh Rugby Union board member, commented: “Businesses have an important part to play in actively changing the lives of today’s children - we have the means to provide the support and skills they need to succeed. The Dell Festival of Touch Rugby will give us the chance to equip young adults with a variety tools that will enable them to create greater opportunities for themselves in both education and employment environments.”

Nick Keller, founder of Beyond Sport, added: “Some of the most incredible projects in the Beyond Sport network are those using rugby to drive social change. We see first-hand, rugby’s power to engage with disenfranchised youth, help disassemble gangs and tackle crime, however it means nothing if they can’t access the game.

“It is for this reason we are delighted to be working with Dell on the Touch Rugby Festival, providing young people, who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, to experience a sport that has an enormous power to teach life lessons, change people’s belief in themselves and make them feel part of a community – probably for the first time in their lives.”