Haringey Rhinos RFC is one of only two rugby union clubs in the borough and until we began our youth project in September 2011, there were no opportunities for children and young people to play rugby union in Haringey.
The Haringey Rhinos youth section started in September 2011 and we were soon inundated with children and young people who wanted to play rugby. By the end of our first season, we had U16s, U14s and U12s boys teams and a mixed minis section.
In September 2016, we set up U13s and U15s girls teams to meet demand in the borough. In 2017, we added an U18s girls team. The girls teams have been an enormous success. We now have over 40 players regularly competing and in 2018, had 14 players selected to play for Middlesex County this season.
By the end of our season in March 2020, we had over 200 children and young people (both boys and girls) playing rugby every Sunday. Participants broadly match the borough averages in terms of economic disadvantage and ethnicity, with over 70% of our children and young people coming from ethnic minorities.
All our coaches and support staff are volunteers. We are keenly aware of the significant economic challenges facing families in Haringey and as such, participants are only charged a nominal membership fee (£10 per child for the whole season or £15 per family). We fundraise to enable us to provide match day kit, training t-shirts, gum shields, training equipment, match day transport and healthy post-match food. We also have a fund to provide significantly economically disadvantaged children with free rugby boots.
We believe that by being part of a club and a community, we can help young people feel included, valued and part of something very worthwhile. Furthermore, research has shown that regular participation in organised physical activity reduces instances of anti-social behaviour, improves self-esteem and improves both cognitive and emotional skills.
The RFU principles of teamwork, respect, discipline, enjoyment and sportsmanship define how Haringey Rhinos play, coach and develop rugby players. Through rugby’s underpinning rules, we believe the sport can make a significant positive impact to young people’s lives.
We hold England Rugby Whole Club Accreditation and the Sport England Clubmark, which means we demonstrate good practice in areas such as club management, player development and recruitment, child protection, sports equity, coaching, refereeing and volunteering.
The RFU have recognised our fun, rather than competitive, approach to coaching mini rugby and have recommended we become a Kids First Rugby club. Kids First Rugby is a new, child first approach to mini rugby which focuses on rugby for all and is based on a child’s ability to participate, rather than perform.
We are working on a number of exciting initiatives for 2021/22, with the aim of providing additional experiences and opportunities for the children and young people of Haringey.
For our 19/20 season, we fundraised over £11,000 to meet the ongoing project costs. However, by increasing our participant numbers to over 250, we will need to raise £12,000 to continue delivering rugby union to the children and young people of Haringey.
1-3 Manor Road