( by Sean Okeeffe )Prince Harry will be in Devon on Wednesday 7th October to present an RFU Gold Standard Facilities Award to Paignton Rugby Club. While in Devon, Harry will be checking in on how the RFU’s All Schools Programme, of which he is Patron, is doing and how they are developing greater opportunities for young people to enjoy rugby.
Paignton Rugby Club is receiving the Gold Standard Award as part of the RFU’s Lead Up and Legacy Social Spaces investment that recognises local clubs around the country, who are making significant contributions to promoting rugby in their local communities.
The All Schools programme champions rugby union as a game for everyone, regardless of background as well as aiming to significantly increase the participation of secondary state schools playing rugby union across the country. All Schools provides links to local clubs like Paignton Rugby Club whilst also offering support such as kit, equipment, coaching and training. Earlier this year, Prince Harry announced in a video message that All Schools had achieved its target of getting 400 new schools playing rugby by the time of the Rugby World Cup. Prince Harry also expressed his hopes that the Rugby World Cup will encourage a brand new generation of children to take up the sport of rugby union.
While at Paignton Rugby Club, Harry will meet with coaches, players and volunteers whilst also getting the chance to watch some of the younger teams training sessions on the pitch and hearing how Paignton Rugby Club’s new and improved facilities have benefitted the local community.
His visit to Paignton Rugby Club wont be Prince Harry’s last rugby themed engagement of the day. Following his appearance in Paignton, Harry will make his way to Sandy Park in Exeter where he will watch the Namibia vs Georgia Rugby World Cup match.
Prior to the match starting, Prince Harry will meet with a group of 16-24 year olds who have gone through the Rugby Empowering Employment Programme, which supports and mentors young people struggling to take their first steps in to employment.
Since the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup, Prince Harry has attended a number of matches. He will attend the Canada vs France match on 1st October as well as the England vs Australia match at Twickenham on Saturday 3rd October