Rugby making mark in Brazil

Former Warriors Coach and Supporters Club Member Tom Redfern has been working in Brazil for Premiership Rugby on the Try Rugby SP project.

One of his roles is to increase the following of Premiership Rugby in the South American country. 

Redfern was sent to Jacarei to introduce rugby at the SESI school, the city, the community and the local rugby club, with seven other coaches doing the same across Sao Paulo.

The aim of the project is to increase rugby understanding and knowledge in the build up to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, as well as developing social, education and health change using rugby's core values as a tool to develop.

The project was launched in September 2012 when Premiership Rugby teamed up with the British Council and SESI-SP to launch an initiative rugby project in Brazil.

In the first year of the project, Premiership Rugby deployed 12 coaches to Brazil to work in 12 SESI schools and to work in 12 cities within the state of Sao Paulo.

That first year saw 55,000 people introduced to rugby through the project and 9,000 participants a week participating in regular rugby activities.

In January 2014, eight coaches returned to Brazil to work in eight new schools.             

Redfern, who arrived in Brazil in September 2013 where he was based in the city of Indaiatuba, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity that this great project provides for these Brazilian children.

“With their athletic ability and natural talent being so good on the whole, it makes teaching them a lot easier. However, teaching rugby's core values and the values of sport has been challenging.

“There is a massive football culture in Brazil – it is like a religion.  

“We have had to instil things like respect, discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork and we are seeing changes daily. It is really satisfying to see their personalities develop and they are turning into real good sportsmen on and off the field.”