Project Rugby

This project assessed the impact of Project Rugby on participants’ perceptions, attitudes and wellbeing and provided insight into factors required to successfully transition participants into grassroots clubs.

Delivered in schools, communities and clubs, the project aims to reduce barriers, change perceptions and increase participation among people from underrepresented groups (people with disabilities and from BAME and low socio-economic backgrounds). This evaluation incorporated quantitative and qualitative methodologies with interactive case studies and recommendations for programme development and delivery.

Key Findings 


  • Significant increases in the percentage of adults (19-65 years) achieving the recommended 150 minutes a week; over two thirds of adult participants said they are ‘active’ after 6 months of engagement compared to half (50%) at the start of the programme
  • The percentage of players who think they are good at sports, good at playing rugby and enjoy playing rugby has increased significantly over the course of the programme
  • Almost two thirds of stakeholders (63%) say they have successfully transitioned participants into local grassroots clubs


  • Project Rugby surpassed output targets for Phases 1 and 2 of the programme, engaging 12,152 participants and transitioning 1,081 into grassroots clubs
  • Strategies seen to help raise awareness and aid transition include using Hubs and community clubs as satellites to grassroots clubs, kit and ticket rewards, professional player engagement, club taster sessions, fun fixtures, and social media, posters and flyers
  • The percentage of surveyed participants who say they know about their local rugby club has almost doubled (+99%), while the percentage who say they are members of their local rugby club has more than tripled
  • In addition to supporting community engagement, stakeholders say Project Rugby activities have strengthened bonds within families by providing a new way to spend time together

To give equal opportunities to those that wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to play rugby and to enrich their lives with the core values for their everyday use” – Stakeholder

Date: 2017 – 2019

Client: Premiership Rugby and England Rugby

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