Indian schools rugby programme

Sliders UK has continued its support for a pioneering programme to promote educational achievement by bringing rugby to some of India’s most deprived cities and districts.

The Delhi Hurricanes School Rugby Development Programme is built on a model first pioneered in the UK by the Atlas Foundation.

This promotes discipline and team working through the sport and has been shown to increase academic achievement in areas of social and economic deprivation here in the UK by 12%.

Sliders UK has continued its support for the programme this year through the sponsorship of the 2017 Tour and Festival of Rugby, which took place over the summer.

Alex Murphy, Sliders UK’s managing director and former London Irish loose-head prop, coaches as part of the scheme.

“The Delhi Hurricanes School Rugby Development Programme gives children from some of the most deprived neighbourhoods of Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta the opportunity to take part in organized team sport – often for the very first time,” he said.

“In leaving that poverty behind them, even for just a few days and focusing on a team sport, you see these kids grow in confidence, understand that they can achieve and that through longer term mentoring, which translates into a better performance in their school work.”

Murphy first formed links with the Delhi Hurricanes during his time as business head of Fenesta Building Systems. India’s largest PVCU window manufacturer, the company is part of the chemicals giant, DCM Shriram.

Sliders UK’s continuing sponsorship of the scheme helps to finance three full-time coaching posts in Delhi, funded by the Atlas Foundation.

The Atlas foundation was set up by 114 England Cap loose-head prop Jason Leonard, to provide a link between businesses looking to make a contribution as part of their CSR strategies and grassroots rugby worldwide as a funding organization.

It’s also developed a network of ‘Champions’ who work with projects around the world, providing leadership and support to development programmes.

The scheme in India involves more than 800 regular players, a 50/50 mix of boys and girls under the age of 16 including an all-girls school.