The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has teamed up with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Wales to develop an innovative approach to the delivering the DofE.
The DofE is well established across the UK as an invaluable way to provide young people with the opportunities to develop essential skills for life and work through volunteering, physical activity and gaining specific skills.
The WRU aims to encourage participation in all aspects of rugby, not just playing but also supporting clubs and local communities.
The partnership between the DofE in Wales and the WRU will mean that DofE participates will get the opportunity to complete sections of their DofE programmes at rugby clubs throughout Wales.
DofE participants will now be able to find opportunities to work towards completing parts of their programme at their local rugby club. If they want to play or train then this will qualify as an activity for their Physical section, if they want to referee this will count towards their Skills section and by coaching younger players or by taking on a role on the management committee they will be able to complete their Volunteering section.
Wales and Ospreys lock Alun Wyn Jones added his support to the programme. He said, “Having personally benefitted from the activities of both The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the WRU , I am really pleased to see them collaborating to provide greater opportunities for young people across Wales; to both complete their DofE programmes and boost volunteering within the WRU. This new partnership will provide a greater range of challenges for young people to push themselves and realise their true potential. I fully support this new initiative and hope that more young people can follow in my footsteps”
Julie Paterson, WRU Head of Group Compliance welcomed the partnership. “As a Union, we recognise the importance of supporting young people in gaining valuable life experiences which can benefit them in a competitive employment market. Young people are vital in the safeguarding of the future of grassroots rugby in Wales and this collaboration will help encourage not only participation but also volunteering within local rugby clubs.”
Stephanie Price, Director of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in Wales said, "This is a great opportunity for young people doing their DofE to get involved in the wider opportunities available through sport and this partnership with the WRU will ensure that both Rugby clubs and DofE participants get the most out of the experience."
From September DofE Leaders will be able to signpost participants to their local club's resources which will be available to inspire young people to take part.
Young people who are interested in completing their DofE programme should make contact with their local DofE centre first, details of which can be found on the DofE website.
Rugby clubs can obtain further information and support by contacting ClubOps@wru.co.uk