Premiership Rugby in partnership with the British Council and SESI in Brazil is currently running an innovative rugby programme in the South American country called "Try Rugby Brazil".
Through an innovative partnership between Premiership Rugby and the British Council, TRY Rugby is supporting the growth of rugby across Brazil. Working with local partners SESI-FIEMG, FIESC and FIESP across the states of Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina and São Paulo, Premiership Rugby coaches develop local capacity not only to increase participation but also to utilise rugby's culture and core values to initiate health, education and social change.
Premiership Rugby is supporting Brazil's efforts to develop and raise the profile of rugby in the country ahead of the sport being introduced to the Olympics for the first time in Rio in 2016. Premiership Rugby coaches landed in Brazil in September 2012 to work with rugby clubs and other community based social inclusion projects.
Try Rugby Main Objectives:
*Help to grow the sport of rugby in Brazil in the lead up to Rio 2016.
*To use rugby as a tool to support the social inclusion of 'at risk' or disadvantaged young people in Brazil and the development of valuable skills such as leadership.
*Build links between the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs in the UK and SESI centres in Brazil to co-create resources and share best practice in the use of rugby for social inclusion and the development of young people.
*To share knowledge and best practice in rugby with teachers, coaches and young volunteers creating a sustainable workforce.
3 Partners Premiership Rugby, the British Council and the Social Services of Industry (SESI), a public private partnership which runs schools and training programmes in Brazil, with the backing of local state governments
The programme is now into its second year and has seen:
*Over 14,000 participants playing every week in Sao Paulo state, which has doubled the rugby playing base in Brazil
*More than 54,000 young people and adults taking coaching sessions, workshops, coach education, events and competitions
*350 teachers and volunteer coaches now able to teach tag rugby and referee games (key to making the project sustainable)
The programme is Premiership Rugby's second overseas project after 12 different Premiership Rugby Community Coaches visited New York in May 2012 to play a key role in the development and promotion of rugby in the USA.
Scott Watson, Premiership Rugby's Brazil Project Manager, said: "Rugby will be part of the Olympics programme for the first time in 2016. Therefore this is a crucial time to develop a project like this, not only for those taking part in the sport, but also for general awareness and knowledge for the entire population.
"This innovative programme uses the strength of rugby and knowledge, infrastructure and expertise of each partner to deploy Premiership Rugby's world-class coaching staff into Brazilian communities to engage with children and young people to deliver health, education and social outcomes whilst promoting the growth of rugby union at the same time."
'Try Rugby program aims to disseminate rugby in Brazil, encourage and motivate people to learn about the sport and practice it. The focus of the project is on social inclusion and mass participation of children, youngsters and adults, rather than identifying talents ', says Amanda Lima Project Manager BC Sports in Brazil.
Sami Arap, President of the Brazilian Rugby Confederation (CBRu), said "The project is the most important development programme ever implemented in Brazil. Currently running in the State of Sao Paulo, it will cause a substantial impact in the promotion and development of grassroots rugby in Brazil. We are delighted with Premiership Rugby's attitude of investing in Brazil and look forward to identifying talented players for the Women's and Men's National Teams in the near future. The impossible is happening and we all wish to be part of this journey."
Second Paulo Skaf, president of FIESP and SESI-SP, the program is an opportunity for young students of SESI-SP and communities to learn and experience the sport, currently practiced by restricted groups, not only supporting the development of sport, but also the practice of sports in Brazil as a whole.
"We want to offer new opportunities of practices in sports for our young people because we believe in sport as a tool for education. Through the democratization of access to sport, we have the opportunity to reveal new talents contributing to strengthening the national sport and to improve people's quality of life - one of SESI missions" said Skaf, who stressed the idea of cultural exchange between rugby coaches and students, beyond sport, deepen their knowledge in English. "Thus, this project - unprecedented in Brazil, becomes a great opportunity for cultural exchange and sports for 10,000 children and young people."