NSW Rugby is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award - Australia, which is designed to provide young people involved in rugby the opportunity to take part in the world’s leading youth development program.
This is the latest in a series of new initiatives being championed through the Positive Rugby Foundation, which is investing in resources to provide more opportunities to young people in rugby.
Now recognised as an official Award provider, NSW Rugby through the Duke4Sport program will have the opportunity to work directly with young people through rugby clubs, community organisations and schools across three of the four key areas that contribute to achieving this internationally recognised Award.
Physical Recreation, Voluntary Service & Skills Sections of the Award can all be completed through their sporting activities and development on and off the field at their club, community organisation or school.
NSW Rugby Union CEO, Andrew Hore, said the Positive Rugby Foundation has invested resources into developing partnerships with organisations such as The Duke of Ed to further champion wellbeing through rugby.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people involved our rugby clubs, schools and community organisations to undertake an internationally recognised program such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
“Health and wellbeing is a key focus for the Positive Rugby Foundation and to be able to partner with an illustrious organisation as The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award - Australia adds to that what we are trying to create which is giving people really great opportunities through rugby.
“We want young people to achieve their goals not only within rugby, but outside of rugby through the friendships and club environment that you often create through rugby,”
“The challenges all sports face is keeping teenagers engaged in sport, especially teenage girls. By partnering with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award – Australia, we are offering more opportunities to increase the amount of sport teenagers are participating in.
“Rugby is a great sport for teenagers to be involved in as it’s a sport for shapes and sizes as well as a team sport,” he said.
CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award - Australia, Peter Kaye AM, said the partnership with Rugby NSW further extends their Duke4Sport program.
“The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is an international program that has been running for 60 years around the world and has 130 countries involved. In Australia, we have about 45,000 young people currently undertaking an award.
“The Duke of Ed Award consists of a framework of four challenges that a young person is given to work towards. They need to volunteer themselves to the community, improve their physical fitness so there is a health component, undertake a personal hobby or vocational skill development and also work towards an overnight adventurous journey.
“We have a very new and a very positive relationship with Rugby NSW. What we are trying to do is develop a relationship with sport as sport has many of the features that help the Award obtain its positive impact.
“We know that sport is always seeking more volunteers and with volunteering trends moving towards more casual volunteering or more cause based volunteering it’s getting harder and harder for people to commit to longer term member based volunteering.
“Through the Award, they have to do a big piece of their Award in a volunteering connecting it to the needs of rugby. Whether it’s umpiring, ground preparation, videoing games or the training.
“Whatever it may be it plays a really important role, a priority for the sport of rugby itself so very clearly this partnership is a win-win so we are going to see more young people already playing rugby also thinking about doing the Duke of Ed and possibly young people who have not been interested in rugby because the sport as part of Duke of Ed become attracted to rugby as a player or to do their volunteering,” he said.
NSW Minister for Sport John Sidoti commended Rugby NSW and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award on the partnership initiative.
“The NSW Government is proud to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and commends Rugby NSW for its continual promotion of volunteering and empowering young Australians to achieve their full potential,” Mr Sidoti said.
“Volunteering offers great opportunities to meet new people and acquire knowledge and skills, and it is the thing that keeps many sports ticking across the state.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is up and running across New South Wales rugby clubs as well as through schools.