The Rugby Project 2023/24 Awards – Applications are now open for 2024/25 

What a great evening on Monday 25th March at Sevenoaks Rugby Club presenting The 2023/24 Rugby Project Awards evening. Every year we are inspired and humbled by what the young people that go through The Rugby Project course achieve. This year was again out of this world as the young people who were on the course smashed last years’ records by completing all the modules and going way beyond our expectations on fund raising and volunteering. Our guest speaker this year was England Lioness Claire Rafferty (Raff) who has now switched codes and is playing her rugby at Sevenoaks.  For the record she did say that rugby was way better – which we all know. The kids were inspired by her story and journey through injuries and success – playing through the challenges of girl’s football being accepted in the early part of her career, and on to representing Chelsea over 150 times and England in both World Cups and the 2012 Olympics.

We also welcomed the chairman of Wooden Spoon Kent, England and British and Irish Lions legend Micky Skinner to receive the donation from the fundraising efforts. This year we donated over £6600 to Wooden Spoon, Kent and gave back over 700 volunteering hours to the 16 clubs that took part and to schools’ rugby too. Rugby at grass roots is run by thousands of volunteers doing some incredible work and to have these youngsters contribute to that is amazing to see. In the 4 seasons this course has been running over 150 kids have gone through the programme with pretty much 50/50 split between boys and girls. That’s 150 possible coaches, referees and first aiders in the system. The kids have recorded over 2000 volunteering hours and raised more than £13,000 for charity. Next season we want them to break the £20,000- and 3000-hours marks. 

As always, huge thanks go to our great coaches who help deliver this wonderful program. George Flatman, Justine McDonnell (Coaching), Jez Michaels, ,Olly Smith (Refereeing and First Aid), and Paul Blacker (First Aid). We couldn’t do it without you. Thanks also to our amazing Treasurer, Graham Bough who makes sure that every penny possible goes to the charities we support and lastly to Medway Rugby Club and Sevenoaks Rugby Club for so kindly allowing us to use your facilities to host some of our events. We really appreciate this. 

Applications are now open for the 2024/25 cohort and we invite 14-16 year olds from any club in Kent to apply (application link below). We have 45 places available and a maximum of 5 from any individual club so please apply early. Last year the course was full in 48 hours. First come first served. 

Let’s see how far we can go next season. We hope to see you in September.

In rugby 

Chris Smith, Grant Scandling and Olly Smith