TWO world class rugby stars helped launch a new course from for ex-service men and women at Minchinhampton Rugby Club on Monday.

image-4As patrons of Gloucester based charity Rugby For Heroes, England World Cup winner Mike Tindall and former Gloucester fullback Thinus Delport launched the first ‘R4H Transition Through Rugby’ course.

The aim of the course is to support military service men and women through the sport of rugby.

Along with FU community rugby coach Dave Barley, both players provided professional expertise guidance and mentoring to the nine service men involved, to help develop core life skills, teamwork, a greater depth and knowledge of the sport.

Mike Tindall MBE said: “I am delighted to have helped launch this course on behalf of Rugby For Heroes and Minchinhampton RFC.

“The course perfectly demonstrates what the charity is all about at a grass roots rugby level, helping support our military service men and women through the sport of rugby, something which I am very passionate about.

“The course will help service leavers in a number of different ways; the military and the sport of rugby have so many shared core values of camaraderie, discipline, team work and respect.”

The five day transition course was attended by nine military service men from the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force who are currently in the process of preparing to make their own transition from military to civilian life.image-2

Peter Varley Chairman of Minchinhampton RFC the host club, is himself a former Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and credits the sport of rugby as being a life changing experience post service.

“I am delighted and honored on behalf of Minchinhampton RFC to welcome Rugby For Heroes to launch their first R4H transition through rugby course,” he said.

“Rugby For Heroes does incredible work as a charity for military service men and women using the sport of rugby to help in the transitional process.

“I have personally experienced firsthand how valuable the sport of rugby has been for my career post services, the camaraderie, sportsmanship, sense of purpose, discipline and self worth have been key to my rehabilitation from military to civilian life”

The course is open to any serving or former member of the armed forces, irrelevant of rank and service background.

On completion of the course the individual will be qualified to apply the principles of safe and effective management, coach players of differing age groups and fully integrate within a local rugby club.

image-3The R4H course is founded upon the RFU core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship which will also provide them with the opportunity to complete the RFU courses Rugby Ready, Scrum Master, UKCC Level 1 & 2 Rugby For Heroes has been working with the wider rugby community and professional player network since 2011 when the charity was first formed to raise funds, awareness and support for service leavers who are making the sometimes difficult transition from military to civilian life.


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