In 2017, the Varsity Match and SportInpired became partners in creating an ambitious programme to help deprived young children from London to aspire to study at two of the most prestigious universities, Oxford and Cambridge, and in the process to develop their confidence and employability skills.
Our goal is to help beneficiaries of the ‘Inspire to Aspire’ programme from across London in improving their life skills through rugby, allowing them to understand how self-confidence and discipline can get them closer to their goals.
This year’s ‘Inspire to Aspire’ festival in brief:
- 93 young leaders from 3 different secondary schools lead the teams. The young leaders received skills training leading up to the festival and will follow the festival with a trip to Oxford or Cambridge University which aims to inspire them to enter higher education.
- 323 primary school children from 4 different secondary schools tried touch rugby, many for the first time, and enjoyed it immensely!
Discover the story of one of our Young Leaders: Emily, from Jo Richardson Community School
Before joining the programme, Emily was insecure about putting forward and explaining her own ideas, and lacking in self-confidence. Her P.E. teacher mentioned she was known to be disruptive in other subjects too. Over the training course that we provide to young leaders prior to the Festival, she started to be more communicative, engaging with other members of the group and even going further in terms of motivating them. This insecure young girl was finding her own path in discovering self-confidence and understanding how it works. By the time she finished the training course, she was ready for the next challenge – to lead and explain a warm-up game to her team of young people. By the end of the festival, she had become a more confident outgoing person, gaining excellent leadership and responsibility skills.
It’s not just about the Festival…
After the Rugby Festival, we actively engage in the delivery of our Legacy work – during which we will deliver additional employability skills training to the young leaders to transition the skills they’ve earned into the real world.
Our next steps
- We will provide 6 weeks of young leader training, focusing on transferring the skills they’ve gained from the Festival to employability skills – like interviewing and CV-writing.
- Our aim is to inspire the young people to aspire to follow a higher education. This is why we take all young leaders involved in the programme to Oxford and Cambridge University, where they will be mentored by students and understand what life there is like.
Instead of a Conclusion… See the children’s joy!