Coaches from the CBRE All Schools cluster adapted three sessions for boys from Years 7 and 8 working with rugby’s core values and the CARDS system.

The boys’ parents had all received invitation letters for them and their sons handed out by teachers to all the boys, not just the more athletic ones in school teams. The sessions were also publicised on social media.

Andrew oversaw sessions and talked to parents about the CARDS system, the club environment and the benefits of their boys joining and the young players were also asked to explain rugby’s values to their parents.

On the last session, the club’s Mini/Junior Lead & Safeguarding Officer was there to chat to parents and players and invite them to the club sessions on Saturdays. From three one-hour taster sessions, the club saw six under 12s increase to 10 training each week and three U13s increase to 12.

There are plans now for more sessions for Years 7 and 8 and some for Years 9 and 10 to build the U14s and U15s teams as well as using this recruiting method at other South Yorkshire clubs.

Said Angie Lee, Barnsley RUFC Club Safeguarding Officer: “It’s great to see new players at the club as a direct result of the Believe & Belong sessions and the fact that some of those new players are completely new to rugby is fabulous.

“Our under 12s and 13s were struggling for numbers and have a dispensation to play a combined team this season. I was genuinely excited to see numbers coming into the club for those age grades. This is proof that quality coaches getting into schools will impact positively on player numbers.”