The inspiring community programme has been cited by the judges of the Sports Business Awards 2020, which recognises the outstanding off-pitch achievements of those working behind the scenes in sport.
Project Rugby is shortlisted in two categories:
- Best Sports Governing Body Initiative
- The Sports Diversity Award
Project Rugby is a joint initiative launched in 2017 by Premiership Rugby in collaboration with England Rugby, with Gallagher adding its backing in March 2019 – after we took over as title partner and as part of our commitment to support not only the professional game but also champion rugby at the grassroots level as a truly inclusive sport.
The programme is designed to increase participation in the game by people from traditionally underrepresented groups including Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic people, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and disabled people.
Since launch, more than 45,000 young people have been introduced to rugby through the initiative who wouldn’t otherwise have had access.
In the Best Sports Governing Body Initiative, Project Rugby is shortlisted alongside England Hockey, The Football Association, World Sailing, Swim England and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Foundation.
This award is to recognise a governing body initiative which has been effective in achieving its outcomes with defined and measurable success. Judges were looking for an initiative which has notable and sustainable positive impacts on the sport.
The Sports Diversity Award - where Project Rugby is also shortlisted - is a new award created to recognise organisations which are placing diversity at the heart of their objectives and engagement.
In this category Project Rugby is shortlisted alongside Premier League teams; Brighton, Everton and Leicester City as well as the British Martial Arts & Boxing Association, Rangers Charity Foundation, The 2019 Solheim Cup and Ready Steady Active.
Sarah Griffiths, Director of Communications for Gallagher in the UK, commented: “Having witnessed first-hand the transformative effect Project Rugby is having on young people’s lives up and down the country, we could not be prouder to be involved in this brilliant programme as part of Gallagher’s broader focus on inclusion and community engagement.
“Every parent or teacher our Gallagher volunteers have spoken to has paid tribute to the passion and commitment of the clubs’ community coaches running these sessions, having seen the new-found confidence their child or pupil has developed thanks to this amazing programme.
“That’s why this double nomination is for all those community club heroes and everyone else behind the scenes who has been instrumental in delivering Project Rugby. From everyone at Gallagher, thank you for everything you do.”
Wayne Morris, Community and CSR Director at Premiership Rugby said: "To see Project Rugby shortlisted not once, but twice, is a huge accolade to the incredible work carried out by our clubs through the season.
"Delivered by Gallagher Premiership clubs at more than 200 locations across the country, Project Rugby has increased access to our sport and changed many young lives for the better.
"It makes us at Premiership Rugby very proud and of course we wouldn't be where we are today without our two great partners: Gallagher and England Rugby."
The winners will be announced on Wednesday 16 December, following a ceremony at The Brewery in London.