The Haringey Rhinos are going from strength to strength thanks to players transitioning from local schools to the club.
Warren Reid, a PE teacher at CBRE All Schools Gladesmore School, encouraged pupils to join the club by meeting them at the school and taking them there on public transport so that they could manage the journey themselves. In addition, the club ran biweekly transition events against five other local schools, offering various incentives including a loyalty card for players, through CBRE All Schools funding, where they were given items such as rugby boots after attending five sessions.
“The efforts from all involved have really paid off, with 75% of all players at the club from the three local CBRE All Schools,” said Tom Redfern, RFU Rugby Development Officer.
“The club offers such a positive and welcoming environment thanks to the efforts of all involved, including club coaches Deshaun Elliot and Warren Reid and Micheal Omojudi and Niall Frederick, teachers at St Thomas More School. Helen Rayfield, Haringey Rhinos club chair, has also been pivotal in driving the junior section of the club through getting third party investment to ensure everyone can play rugby, regardless of their financial situation. The club also has a new clubhouse which has been a game-changer, providing an area for players to socialise after games.”
To encourage more women to participate in rugby across the area, the RFU designed T-shirts for North London players and six local female players are now Young Rugby Ambassadors (YRA) and trained in both Level 1 refereeing and the Rugby Ready course, volunteering at club and school.
Twenty five of the girls are also part of the North London U18 7s Pathway Session run at the club and six have represented Middlesex County at U15, two having been selected for the South East Academy. Testament to the success of CBRE All Schools, all participants are from year two of the programme.
Tei-An Javine Gloria Miller, who plays divisional rugby for the South East Academy, said,
“Rhinos are one big family, not just within our own girls team but across the ladies, U16 boys, minis and coaches. I love the sport because of its different challenges. You can run, kick, pass, tackle, be in a scrum and jump in a lineout – there is such variety. What’s more, I want to use sport as an opportunity to go to university. If rugby can help me then I would love that”.