Our Community programme aims to deliver huge benefits to the local community by using the unique ability of rugby to address a broad range of issues.
Gloucester rugby community charity mission statement
The Gloucester Rugby Community Charity enhances the lives of young people through sport, with a particular focus on those with social and other disadvantages. Utilising the relationship with Gloucester Rugby, the charity is a force for positive change for the citizens of Gloucestershire and beyond, reaching people at key times in their lives to make a positive impact. Funded through donations, sponsorship and fundraising, the Charity provides opportunities for organisations and individuals to fulfil their community, charity and volunteering objectives.
Changing the lives of young people
Utilising the rugby club, its brand, professional players and the stadium, we deliver projects that give all young people involved the opportunity to fulfil their potential and to play a positive and active role in society.
Many of our projects are developed in collaboration with a wide range of public services organisations, health and education providers, and local businesses.
Luke was a promising all round sportsperson from as young as six years old. He was an athletic youngster who always strived to be the best at his sport with…Find out more
Luke was a promising all round sportsperson from as young as six years old. He was an athletic youngster who always strived to be the best at his sport with the support of his Father and younger Brother Louis. From eleven years of age Luke was identified as one of fifteen gifted and talented students from the district, in the sport of Football, and was selected to represent both his District and his County. At the age of sixteen he was offered a Football scholarship at a local sports college where he was lucky enough to play for a number of local clubs with the continued aspiration of professional Football. Once he had completed his time at college, Luke progressed into semi-professional Football where he was playing in the Hellenic Premiership and was one step closer to his dream of becoming a professional Footballer. Although earning money for playing the sport he loved the reality of achieving his dream was not guaranteed and therefore he acquired a career in Estate Agency. Alongside this came a volatile social life of alcohol and anti-social behavior, often landing him and his acquaintances in trouble with the Police.
Three weeks before his twenty-third birthday Luke was involved in a near fatal motor vehicle accident following a heavy night of alcohol and narcotic abuse. Luke caused serious damage to multiple body parts including an incomplete severance of his spinal cord resulting in a C5/C6 level injury which has left him Tetraplegic and permanently disabled. Although this means he cannot manage or utilise his body from the point of damage, due to the nature of his injury Luke also has limited muscle function above the area of damage however has full touch sensation. Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) have an all-round detrimental effect on an individual’s mental and physical wellbeing however for Luke the major focal point of his new lifestyle was that at the age of twenty-three he possessed a fraction of the independence that his previous twenty-two year old self had;
…spinal injury affects every part of your life…there’s no real area that it doesn’t affect… from your love life to things that you’d normally do in your daily routine previous to the accident. Due to finger movement problems…your independence goes so you have to have a regular PA which is something that you have to adapt to…it’s pretty difficult but your mind adapts…it affects your life massively.
Although disability sports were offered to Luke during the rehabilitation process the agony of not being able to compete in the sport he loved overwhelmed his desire to pursue an interest in something new. The realisation that where previously he was one of the best in his chosen sport he now felt unable to achieve the same potential due to his level of injury. Following multiple unsuccessful attempts to absorb himself within the world of disability sports his ideas were tarnished by the inequality of the opposition he faced during these experiences. However when forced along to a session of Wheelchair Rugby, despite his doubts, his view of disability sport was completely rewritten;
…as soon as I got in the chair I loved it. It’s a nice situation to be in and amongst people that have or have had the same experiences as you…you can feel yourself…relaxed. I think sport in general is brilliant. It can be massive for individuals to be social, to compete…people go [there] for their own reasons.
As an individual with a Disability Duke’s involvement within sport over the past three years has helped him in several ways. The meaning and value that sport holds within his life is comparable to his dedication to watching his favorite Football team play, which he admits to being willing to miss for the opportunity to play Wheelchair Rugby. His aspirations to play a professional level of sport have returned and his confidence and belief in his own abilities have not only improved his everyday quality of life but also changed his opinion of how he is viewed by society, less of a delicate and breakable individual and more like an inspirational and valued person;
…I thought sport was a goner to be honest…I knew how weak I was and I didn’t think there was a sport out there that could allow me to be the best at it. I would love to make it to the GB level…I’ve got confidence in myself to go on to be able to compete at the GB Development Squad. When you’re playing Rugby and you’re in your Rugby chair people are judging or looking at your ability…everyone’s in the same boat. You don’t really think about your disability…it’s just playing sport.
Aaron George Shortlisted for Young Achiever of the Year
Gloucester Rugby’s Aaron George is one of six trail-blazing individuals who have been crowned a Regional winner for Young Achiever of the Year ahead of the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community…Find out more
Aaron George Shortlisted for Young Achiever of the Year
Gloucester Rugby’s Aaron George is one of six trail-blazing individuals who have been crowned a Regional winner for Young Achiever of the Year ahead of the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.
Premiership Rugby’s Young Achiever Award – selected from the shortlist below, will be one of the highlights of the evening and will honour young participants who have ‘made the most’ from initiatives such as Aviva Tackling Numbers, HITZ, On The Front Foot, Rugby 4 All, Something To Chew On, Move Like A Pro, and Urban Rugby Squad.
Aaron’s career aim was to join the RAF but having been diagnosed with severe Arthritis in his right side of his body, his application to the RAF was rejected.
Aaron was disheartened when he realised his dream wasn’t going to become a reality so he decided to enrol on the HITZ programme.
After such a big blow, Aaron suffered from a lack of confidence but he was eager to move forward, improve his CV and also gain experience going to the gym and taking part in rugby through HITZ.
Throughout the programme he showed his determination and never gave up on anything.
During a rugby tournament he was very ill and in pain, however he still supported the team and during the halftime break we went out onto the field and through the rugby ball around so he could be part of the experience.
Aaron has taken every challenge he has been faced with in his stride and developed a lot during the 12-week programme.
He has met lots of new people, with some of whom he has developed some very strong friendships and has grown in confidence and motivation.
The determination Aaron has shown has been inspirational and helped motivate his team mates. He always has a smile on his face and has shown a ‘can do’ attitude.
He has been a true gentleman and an inspiration to everyone.
Aaron is now a HITZ ambassador for other students that will be a support network to others within future programmes, giving motivational speeches and talks as well as attending events and telling his story.
Premiership Rugby will crown their overall winner in the Young Achiever of the Year category at its Parliamentary Community Awards evening at the House of Commons on 7 July, from the shortlist below.
The judging panel for the Young Achiever of the Year award chaired by Lydia Good, BREAKTHRU – Development Manager, Premiership Rugby included Elizabeth Tydeman, Public Health England, Emily Cramp, The Movember Foundation, Olly Dawson, Comic Relief and Tom Harrison, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham.
Urban Rugby Squad
This year our Urban Rugby Squad delivery started in July for 8 weeks. We worked with 4 clubs, they were My: Uk, Vibe, Wrap Around and Cinderford Cadets. The aim…Find out more
Urban Rugby Squad
This year our Urban Rugby Squad delivery started in July for 8 weeks. We worked with 4 clubs, they were My: Uk, Vibe, Wrap Around and Cinderford Cadets. The aim of our delivery was to take rugby to areas of the community that don’t play or have very little association with rugby.
Bringing different ethnic and religious groups together, to learn how to play rugby and step by step introducing the core values of rugby – Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship. Alongside the rugby there was an issue based element to the programme – drugs and alcohol, sex education, relationships and anger management. The age group we were working with was 13 years old to 16 years old.
At the end of our 8 weeks delivery, we ran a Regional Touch Rugby Festival at Gloucester Park for our 4 clubs, putting all the skills they learnt into matches. The afternoon was a success, with a great turn out from all 4 clubs and also parents were there to support their kids. At the completion of our Regional Festival, we had to name 12 young people to represent Gloucester Rugby at the Nationals held at Sixways Stadium, Worcester.
On Wednesday 26th October we took 12 young people that we selected from our clubs to participate in the Nationals at Sixways Stadium. All kitted out in Gloucester Rugby kit, the team was ready to showcase their skills. The look on their faces made my day, they were very excited to be playing on a great surface and seeing TV cameras and photographers taking pictures of them.
We played 3 games against Leicester Tigers, Harlequins and London Irish. We managed to win 1 and lost 2. We didn’t make the play-offs, but our team showed great commitment and determination all throughout the day. Everyone involved had a fantastic day. It was a joy working alongside all our 4 clubs, and I want to thank everyone for their support and commitment for making our Urban Rugby Squad a success.