CHILDREN from Frederick Gent School at South Normanton will get the chance to take centre stage at Twickenham during England’s RBS 6 Nations campaign next year after being hand-picked to be involved in a national rugby project.
Pupils from 100 schools across England have been chosen to design their own Canterbury team rugby shirt at workshops this autumn, before the final product is unveiled at Rugby HQ and then worn at school fixtures next season.
The Canterbury kit design workshops are part of the CBRE All Schools programme, launched in 2012 by the Rugby Football Union, which aims to get more state secondary schools playing rugby and encourage students to join local clubs.
Last month selected pupils from Frederick Gent — just one of the 100 latest state secondary schools to join CBRE All Schools — took part in a design workshop at Lincoln RFC.
Pupils worked with Canterbury employees to learn about the value and importance of the modern jersey in rugby and explored the history of the shirt, before researching possible designs using their schools’ colours, motto, history or local landmarks.
After brainstorming their own ideas, the pupils settled on a single concept and created a more-detailed design, which was then signed off by their teachers.
One pupil from each school will be invited to Twickenham Stadium to officially unveil their custom-designed shirt on the pitch ahead of England’s RBS 6 Nations match against Italy in February.
RFU Rugby development director Steve Grainger said: “CBRE All Schools programme this year celebrated an important milestone with 500 schools now part of the programme.
“The Canterbury kit design workshops play an important role in the programme educating students about the heritage of the England shirt while also giving them the opportunity to create their school’s new rugby kit. We look forward to seeing the designs at the official unveil during the RBS 6 Nations.”
The workshops, which build team spirit and boost creative innovation, have been running for five years.
The pupils were given unique freedom and opportunity to design their school’s shirt, which could be worn by their school’s rugby team for many years to come.
As of September, CBRE All Schools has brought rugby to 500 schools across England, with the programme planning to take rugby to 750 schools by 2019 as part of the RFU’s Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy plans.
Canterbury CEO Chris Stephenson said: “It’s great to see even more schools joining the CBRE All Schools programme this season.
“We enjoy teaching pupils the values of a rugby shirt and seeing the designs they come up with for their own school’s kit.
“It’s been a successful four years of CBRE All Schools so far and it’s great to see more and more schools getting involved in rugby.”
*CBRE All Schools supported by Canterbury is one of the RFU’s key legacy programmes, set up to increase the number of state secondary schools playing rugby union in England. Visit www.englandrugby.com/allschools to find out more.