A PROJECT which sees coaches at Worcester Warriors pass on tips to the city’s homeless people has bagged a top prize.
The club’s community team saw off Championship rivals Bristol to win the Play Award at the All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group Premiership Rugby Community Awards.
The achievement comes after Warriors set up the Homeless Rugby Project, which sees community coaches work with residents at the city’s YMCA.
Coach Dave Rogers, who attends the charity with Liam Cooper on a weekly basis, said he was delighted to see the project receive recognition as he believes it helps people use rugby as a tool to help change their lives.
“The YMCA residents have been playing touch rugby and some of them have been saying it keeps them occupied instead of doing bad things,” he said.
“But there is a knock-on effect from playing as they are developing confidence, teamwork skills, respect and other values which help them in their general lives.
“We have seen a great response with many residents moving out of the YMCA and getting their own places and six from 18 that we have been working with, have already found themselves a job while four have gone to college to study.
“It’s not directly because of our involvement but it’s because of the improvements in the values they have been picking up as playing as part of a team.”
Mr Cooper, who picked up the award at the House of Commons, said they would now look at expanding the project.
“We’ve now got them competing in our Summer of Touch league where they are having to step up, organise themselves, compete and of course, they are playing regular rugby,” he added.
“Winning the award is an honour and now we are looking to take things to the next level by hopefully setting up an England Homeless team in the not-so-distant future.”