Worcester Warriors have teamed up with rugby ace and Dancing on Ice winner Kyran Bracken today to launch the Wooden Spoon “Mascots Challenge” Community Rugby Coaching Programme.
The scheme, a joint initiative between Wooden Spoon and all clubs from the Guinness Premiership, will see coaching programmes for socially disadvantaged children rolled out to schools who wouldn’t normally have the chance to play rugby.
The Wooden Spoon – or ‘Spoon’ to its members – was formed in 1983 by five friends on the flight back from Dublin following England’s defeat against Ireland in the Five Nations when England found themselves recipients of the Wooden Spoon. To date over £10 million has been given to causes that help socially, physically and mentally disadvantaged children and young people.
Kyran Bracken, an ardent Wooden Spoon supporter, said: “With the Rugby World Cup fast approaching this is a great time to get rugby in to the hearts and minds of kids who wouldn’t normally think about picking up a rugby ball. I am really behind this coaching programme and who knows, Wooden Spoon and the clubs from the Guinness Premiership may be helping find our next Jonny Wilkinson!”
Wayne Morris of Premier Rugby added: “The demand from schools wanting to take part in community activity has never been higher and teaming up with Wooden Spoon has meant that we can meet that demand in some of the country’s most deprived areas and hopefully unearth some future talent. The mascots are a perfect way to promote this fundraising initiative. They have become an integral part of any Guinness Premiership club match day and they have established themselves as a firm favourite with children at their respective grounds.
All mascots from the Premiership clubs around the country were challenged to raise £5,000 by Wooden Spoon and for every penny that they raised, Spoon match-funded the amount up to £5,000. This money has been given back to the clubs and will be used over the next 6 weeks to fund coaching initiatives in schools around the country with children who have had little or no contact with this popular sport.
Geoff Morris, Chief Executive of Wooden Spoon said: “We are delighted that Kyran has chosen to support this initiative – being a former World Cup winner and television personality he is recognised in the public domain and hopefully will inspire the younger generation to try rugby. The Premiership clubs do great work with their community programmes which are government recognised and involve teaching English and Maths as well as Rugby. We are very proud to be supporting them throughout the summer in the lead up to Rugby’s biggest competition.”