Over 700 students from 17 universities have taken up tag rugby league through the latest offer from the London Rugby League Foundation, called Tagged. The offer was developed in 2016 by the Foundation as part of a pilot project funded by Sport England, in partnership with the RFL and Rugby League Cares. Tagged was designed to create a new university mixed participation offer to get more students physically active through Rugby League.
Ten universities in the South East were signed up to take part in the pilot year, and thanks to renewed support from Sport England and the RFL, the project has been extended for an additional year and into a further 7 universities for 2017-18. In addition to the strong overall participation numbers, Tagged has also successfully appealed to female students, with women making up 57% of all current participants.
Project Manager, James Szymik, said “For the majority of our participants this is their first experience of Rugby League. We’ve had over 700 students play this term and only 3% of these are currently playing contact Rugby League at University. We’ve built Tagged as a mixed offer and we’ve focussed heavily on ensuring its female-friendly so it’s really pleasing to have engaged so many females, many of whom who are experiencing rugby and team sports for the first time”.
Annie Lumby from The University of Brighton said “I’ve enjoyed playing Tagged this term. It’s a really fun way to keep fit without even noticing your exercising! Everyone is really friendly and accepting of all abilities”.
Each University has a team of Tagged Activators, student volunteers recruited and trained to deliver the offer. In 2017, 45 students volunteer activators were recruited and trained by the Foundation to lead on the delivery of Tagged within their individual universities. Anna Christophides a Sports Development Student at Brunel University and Tagged Activator commented “Becoming an activator was probably one of the best decisions I made this year; it helped me grow more confident in coaching and competition organisation”. Abby White from the University of Brighton added “I’ve loved being an activator so far! I really enjoyed the training weekend and love meeting new people whilst running the sessions, it’s been great to see people’s confidence grow as they improve”.
For more information or for any institutes interested in delivering Tagged, please contact James.Szymik@londonrugbyleaguefoundation.org