Growing the game in Kent

What is The Rugby Project

The aim of this project, which is now in its second year, is to build life skills and to find more ways to get involved in rugby. The course is designed to help young people to get their first insight into refereeing, first aid, and coaching, giving them the skills to safely build confidence in doing so and to support their clubs and the community with volunteering and fund raising

If you are based in Kent, aged between 14-16, and want to get RFU qualifications in coaching, refereeing, first aid, and get other skills that will look great on a CV or personal statement then this is perfect. The Rugby Project ran in 2021 for the first time.

Twenty participants graduated in April 2022 year having completed all the course modules and demonstrated they had put the skills they learned into practice by helping out coaching and refereeing at their clubs, and collectively raising nearly £1000 for charity, logging over 300 hours of volunteering. In September 2022, over 50 took signed up to take part in the 2022/23 programme, raised more than £3000 for charity and logged over 800 hours of volunteering in their clubs and schools. The Rugby Project continues to grow with 14 different clubs and schools set to take part in the 2023/24 cohort.

To graduate each participant must complete four core training modules and two participation modules. If a module is not completed, then you can just do that module next season to finish the course.

TRP was set up and is led by a group of people who give up their time voluntarily to handle the management, organisation, and finances. We formed ourselves into a not for profit, community sports club to ensure that the programme is run solely for the benefit of the young people who take part.

The four core training modules


Each participant will take part in a “Kids First” contact course. This will be run by RFU qualified trainers

This course is for those new to coaching contact rugby. It will help participants to safely coach the contact areas of the game giving them ideas for game-based coaching and how to instill the basic codes of conduct of rugby into sessions

Time: 2 hours

Mental Resilience

In this module, participants will learn how to control the controllables, adopting a growth mindset and seeing difficulty and pressure as both a challenge and an opportunity. We also cover positive body language and breathing techniques

Participants will have the opportunity to interact with the trainers, all former Special Forces Operators, participate in Q&A sessions, and put techniques into practice

Time: 2 hours


Basics of refereeing course run by the Kent Society of Rugby Union Referees facilitated by RFU approved trainers

Participants will learn: Running a rugby match safely and effectively. How to communicate correctly with players. Basic signals and whistle tones

Time: 2 hours

First Aid

This RFU-approved course provides participants with a sound level of knowledge and understanding of first aid, relevant to both coaching and refereeing rugby union

Participants will learn defibrillator use, resuscitation, concussion awareness and basic first aid skills

Time: 5-6 hours

The two participation modules

Fund Raising

Participants will be required to raise a minimum of £40 to go toward running the course to complete the course but should aim for £100 per person. Anything raised in excess of £40 will be donated to The Wooden Spoon – a charity that uses rugby to support disadvantaged children

In 2021 the biggest fundraiser was £250!!!


A minimum of 20 hours will be required to complete the course. You can do anything you like as long as it has something to do with rugby!! You can referee or coach the minis or even help in the club shop

Participants will be required to record volunteering hours which will be verified by the course facilitators prior to course completion

Why do it?

You get 3 recognized RFU Qualifications and learn new skills

Content for GCSE PE and/or Duke of Edinburgh

Find more ways to help your club or school and help to develop other players

Amazing to have on your CV and your UCAS Personal Statement