Sparkling Rugby

ORFC run a School Linked programme called Sparkling Rugby.

To involve your school please contact Roger Filbey on

Sparkling Rugby is a Community initiative, supported and sponsored by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire Constabulary and the Basingstoke Primary Schools Sports Association, as well as the RFU.

We deliver Tag Rugby coaching to primary school children in Key Stage 2, special needs children and young adults – in curriculum time, adhering to the RFU coaching continuum and a developed curriculum over 6 weeks. As well as developing the children’s ‘rugby skills’, we also enable the teacher to carry on with the sport when our sessions have finished.

The aim is to encourage children to exercise and experience our sport, in a fun and safe environment.

Sparkling Rugby began more than 15 years ago as a Police community project, with Officers going into schools. Since 2008 ORFC have taken up the lead delivery role, with more than 90% of Basingstoke Primary schools at Key Stage 2 having experienced Tag Rugby coaching. (see 2012-13 schedule for figures).

All local schools of the appropriate age groups are invited to Sparkling Rugby Festivals, held annually, where as well as ‘winning’, Fair Play, Sportsmanship & Attitude are also judged.

From 2012 19 schools have also taken part in a series of leagues.

What Exactly Do We Do?

ORFC administers and delivers Sparkling Rugby coaching to primary schools as part of its community development responsibilities, working with teachers to promote physical education.  This is offered to able-bodied and special needs children alike. Additionally, we have worked with and engaged the voluntary services of the Police, Police Community Support Officers and Council Wardens, some of whom are now able to work alongside us to deliver Tag Rugby coaching (we’ve helped them to obtain the requisite RFU coaching qualification where required), and they also deliver the ‘Tackle Safe’ message.  In addition, we work with the Borough Council to run evening coaching in an area where children are less privileged, one evening a week during the school summer holidays.

How Many Children Benefit?

in 2012 we ran sessions in 32 out of the 46 primary schools within the Basingstoke catchment area, with an additional 8 schemes run by PCSOs.  This benefited 1478 children, mostly within normal curriculum time and occasionally via after-school clubs.  Four of these schools are classified as special needs, and we engaged with over 140 children in these 4 schools.

Schools are invited to a Sparkling Rugby Tournament, held annually to play against other schools from the area.  In all the pool games Teams are scored by the referees on Fair Play, Sportsmanship & Attitude, so all schools that participate have the chance to win a trophy.

Our inaugural annual Tag Rugby competitions, for years 3/4 & 5/6 were held on 5th & 6th June 2008.  This saw some 560 children from 25 schools visit our club to compete in the tournament, with the winners from the two age groups going on to regional finals and competing for a place in the Child Victims of Crime Charity-sponsored Tag Rugby tournament, run in association with the RFU.