Leyton Sixth Form College’s Sports Coordinator, Barney Grice, has been recognised as a ‘Real Rugby Hero’ for his efforts to get college students involved in playing rugby.

On Thursday 21st March 2019 Barney was invited for VIP hospitality and a special pitch side presentation of his award at Schools Day, held at Twickenham Stadium.  

“The Real Rugby Heroes initiative recognises those that work hard to deliver and enable the game in schools and colleges,” said Andrew Wilesmith, chairman of ERFSU rugby development. “So many members of staff across our thousands of schools and colleges go above and beyond to deliver the sport, and for many young people this is where they first experience the sport. This gives us a chance to say thank you”.

Barney started to develop rugby opportunities for students at LSC in September, and soon secured invaluable support through the Project Rugby initiative and the Saracens Foundation.  The Project Rugby initiative focuses on bringing the sport to new audiences and communities.  Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director said: “We want to take the game into communities where rugby isn’t widely available and demonstrate not only how much fun the game is but the skills and benefits it brings a player – confidence, teamwork, resilience, and wellbeing to name a few.”

Amy Turle, Sports Manager at LSC, was proud to see hardworking staff recognised for the positive impact they are having on extending opportunities for young people at college. “We know that students gain so much from opportunities to engage in sport, and rugby has been a great addition to our offer – attracting participation from male and female students of all different abilities, many of whom are completely new to rugby. Barney has achieved such a lot in the short time he has been with us.”

On the 20th March, Barney was with Matt Brown, Project Rugby Officer at Saracens Sports Foundation at Woodford Rugby Club delivering a series of rugby workshops and competitions for sixth form students across London, with a big turnout of students from LSC. This is just one of the many exciting opportunities, in addition to weekly training sessions, that LSC students have recently benefitted from.