Helping engage young people in Sport and Education in Wales’ most deprived areas


‘TACKLE’ – the first-ever joint community rugby initiative between the four professional teams in Wales has been launched (today Weds 19th October) bringing an inspiring new rugby education programme to young people in Communities First areas.  Partners in the project were joined by Wales’ star rugby internationals Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets) and Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), for the launch at Aberdare Community School.


Funded by BT Sport’s charitable initiative The Supporters Club the ground-breaking joint project will see the four professional teams in Wales work together with Pro Rugby Wales to deliver an innovative and comprehensive programme where rugby and education work hand-in-hand.


The investment in community activity further builds upon BT’s significant partnership and support of all four Welsh rugby regions as main sponsor since 2014.


TACKLE is The Supporters Club key sports engagement initiative in Wales as part of its aim to create a better future for young people facing incredibly tough challenges.


The Supporters Club uses donations from BT Sport customers to invest in projects in the UK and worldwide, selected in partnership with Comic Relief. Across the last three years The Supporters Club has raised over £6 million for more than 40 projects both UK and worldwide project – supporting 20,000 people.


TACKLE is being delivered in partnership by the community teams at the Ospreys, Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues and starts this month (October 2016) – taking popular inflatable ‘cage rugby’ sessions to young people in Communities First areas in Wales combining fun, action-packed rugby sessions with education pathways and mentoring sessions.


Funding has been secured for two years and will initially focus on working with young people aged 14-16 where drop-out rates from sport are at their highest in Wales. TACKLE will link with education and careers partner, Careers Wales, to help disaffected young people with clear education and personal development options; helping improve self-confidence, school attainment and employability skills.


TACKLE will bring a format of rugby into the heart of communities that is accessible, relevant and challenging for teenagers, both male and female and of all abilities including those who have never played before. The cage rugby sessions will be run by four newly appointed TACKLE officers – one at each of the four professional club dedicated to the delivery of TACKLE.  Sessions can be held in a wide variety of locations from school playing fields, to community parks, sports and community centres -bringing rugby closer to hard-to-reach communities.


Mark Davies, Chief Executive of Pro Rugby Wales which represents the four Welsh professional teams said: “This is an inspiring new programme which will see our four rugby regions working together collaboratively for the first time with rugby as the catalyst to engage, inspire and motivate young people in Wales helping them seize greater opportunities and a better life.


“For the majority of us in the game, this is what working in rugby is all about – linking young people to the values and enjoyment of sport; we have some remarkable rugby role models in our game that epitomise positive values and can be an inspiration to people of all ages, genders and abilities to reach their goals in life.  This is about using the fun and enjoyment of rugby to reach young people and encourage them to re-enter education, training and learn new skills.


“TACKLE is not about numbers on a spreadsheet but real outcomes for young people in areas of Wales that need it the most – and we’ll look to expand this programme with the support and funding of like-minded partners in Wales– to increase and broaden the positive impact we can have by bringing together expertise and knowledge.”


Alwen Williams, Director BT Cymru Wales said: “The Supporters Club continues to build better lives for young people through sport, thanks to the millions of pounds BT Sport viewers have raised. TACKLE is an inspiring project and we look forward to helping support this fantastic programme through BT volunteering and mentoring in our local communities to help those young people in Wales that face difficult challenges.”


Careers Wales Chair Debra Williams said: “Working in partnership with The Supporters Club and Pro Rugby Wales will help us reach and inspire young people in the most deprived areas.


“At Careers Wales our objectives are to help strengthen young people’s employability skills; to increase their opportunities for employment by helping find suitable training or jobs and to provide effective careers guidance. Our educational workshops will cover a range of topics including self-awareness building, behaviours at work and productive communication; all invaluable skills helping create brighter futures”.


For more information please visit Pro Rugby Wales: www.prorugbywales.com; The Supporters Club:  www.thesupportersclub.org; Careers Wales: www.careerswales.com




TACKLE is a format of rugby delivered in the heart of communities that is accessible, relevant and challenging for teenagers, both male and female and of all abilities including those who have never played before. The cage rugby sessions can be held in a wide variety of locations that traditional community rugby activity can’t reach – with events on grass in parks, on housing estates, school playgrounds or car parks as well as sports and community centres.

TACKLE aims to develop and sustain a targeted and sustainable programme which connects and inspires young people, living in Communities First areas, who might not have access or support to connect with the game of rugby. Its aims:

  • Connect young people, who live in areas of deprivation across Wales, with the game of rugby
  • Provide an accessible and engaging education programme (delivered by our partner Careers Wales) to run alongside the physical rugby & sports sessions – enabling young people to gain qualifications and employability skills;
  • Working in Partnership with Careers Wales we will deliver educational workshops on topics including: CV Workshop; Productive communication; Opportunity awareness; Behaviours at work; Self-awareness & confidence building; What employers want; Marketing & media; Sports industry jobs
  • Provide and support real exit routes for young people into further participation of sport, club membership, volunteering, coaching and employment.


About The Supporters Club:

The Supporters Club celebrated its three-year anniversary this summer and thanks to monthly donations from BT Sport customers it has been able to transform lives in that time. BT Sport’s charitable initiative has raised over £6m for more than 40 charities by using sport to help disadvantaged young people in the UK and overseas. Together The Supporters Club works to improve the lives of young disadvantaged people through achievement in school, tackling exploitation and abuse, and increasing skills, opportunities and employment. Sport will continue to be play a major role in supporting BT’s objective to raise £1billion for good causes by 2020, while also inspiring two-thirds of our people to volunteer. Donations from BT and our customers are invested into projects selected in partnership with Comic Relief, as we aim to build a better world through sport.


About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. With effect from 1 April 2016, the group has been reorganised and the customer-facing lines of business are now:  Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. For more information, visit www.btplc.com


About Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a UK registered company limited by guarantee (01967154) and a charity registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales (326568) and with OSCR in Scotland (SCO39730). It is a grant-making organisation and does not run its own projects. It manages The Supporters Club fund and these grants have to adhere to the same principles and procedures as all its other grants.



Communities First is Welsh Government’s community focused tackling poverty programme.

The programme provides funding for Lead Delivery Bodies within local authority areas known as Communities First Clusters to narrow the economic, education/skills and health gaps between our most deprived and more affluent areas.

It has three strategic objectives helping to achieve these outcomes: Prosperous Communities; Learning Communities; Healthier Communities.

The programme has 52 Communities First Clusters which between them work with all of the communities which are eligible for inclusion in the programme.


Careers Wales is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Welsh Government which was formed on 1 April 2013 and is the all age, independent and impartial careers information, advice and guidance service for Wales. It delivers a remit set by the Minister for Education and Skills and support the Welsh Government’s strategic objectives as identified in the Programme for Government and related Welsh Government policies, such as the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework (YEPF).  The overall focus for the service is to help people make effective decisions and become independent in managing their careers.  This includes making realistic career decisions and plans, and ensuring successful progression and positive outcomes for individuals, who we support to gain appropriate training, further learning or employment.  Careers Wales work helps to develop the nation’s skills base and to support the effectiveness of expenditure on education and training, thereby contributing to the economic and social well-being of Wales.