Last year HSBC announced a partnership with The Prince's Trust Fairbridge programme, donating £5million over five years to support the most vulnerable young people in the UK. In partnership with HSBC, The Prince's Trust aims to help thousands of 13 to 17-year-olds who have either been excluded or are in danger of being excluded from school, back into main stream education, training and ultimately employment. Three out of four young people supported by The Prince's Trust re-enter education, employment or training.
The rugby training sessions aspire to help teach the core values of courage, discipline and respect associated with rugby to the young people attending. They are hosted by Dan Bloxham, a professional sports coach, and are supported by HSBC rugby ambassadors including former Lion Jason Robinson and former dual-code Wales International Jonathan Davies.
With four months to go until the start of the Tour, 2001 and 2005 Lion Robinson helped launch the new initiative at a rugby coaching session in Manchester involving 31 young people from Prince's Trust centres in Salford, Liverpool and Manchester. Attendees spent the day with the Rugby World Cup winner learning about what it takes to be a professional sportsman and what values they could learn from the sport.
"I think rugby can help these young people learn more about courage, teamwork, fair play and respect. These are values and attributes that playing rugby helped me to understand. I hope they go away with fond memories of the coaching and a better understanding of the power of sport" said Robinson.
HSBC ambassador Jonathan Davies, whilst attending a coaching session in Bristol involving 30 young people from Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham, added, "Playing rugby can teach a great working ethic and team work but mostly discipline and self-confidence. I came from a little village in West Wales and a council house - rugby gave me everything that I have."
Tom Pavey, corporate partnerships manager for the Prince's Trust said: "At The Prince's Trust, we know that sport is a fantastic way to help young people boost their skills, confidence and motivation in preparation for work. Taking part in these coaching sessions with top rugby stars has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our young people and we're incredibly grateful to HSBC for making it happen."
Andrea de Vincentiis, Head of Rugby Sponsorship HSBC Holdings plc. added: "In this very important year for HSBC with our sponsorship of The British & Irish Lions, we are delighted to be able to work with the Prince's Trust and bring to life our Lions sponsorship with these coaching sessions, as part of the Fairbridge programme. To be able to help support the grassroots of the sport using our association with the iconic touring side is very important to us."
Following the launch of the partnership further rugby coaching sessions will take place on March 19 in Hackney, London and later on in the month in Newcastle and Scotland.
A video from the launch of is available: http://bit.ly/XNqENY