Robinson, who won five Test caps for the Lions between 2001 and 2005, launched the programme at Broughton Park RFC in Manchester last Wednesday, coaching 120 kids from inner city schools from the north west. The inaugural HSBC Rugby Festival was organised in conjunction with the Rugby Football Union and kicked off a nine-month long grass-roots programme that will run across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and will culminate in a series of festivals in South Africa during the Lions tour next June.
Robinson spent time coaching all nine participating teams, as well as passing on advice to the aspiring youngsters, saying "When I retired from professional rugby, coaching youngsters from emerging rugby playing schools was one of my aims.
"I started at a school where most people didn't even know the rules of rugby union and yet I was still able to go on and achieve everything I did.
"If I can do it anyone can do it. The best piece of advice I can give is to enjoy yourself."
Some of the young players at Broughton Park had never even played rugby union before, coming from the rugby league heartland of Manchester. Eleven year old Kobe Rowe from Chorlton High School, was the leading try scorer for his school's rugby league team but was thrilled by his interaction with Jason Robinson.
"I didn't even know the rules of rugby union until today, but I have really enjoyed being able to tackle and put in the big hits today," said Kobe. "I even tackled Jason!"
The youngster promised Jason that he would continue to play union alongside his first love of rugby league!
The second HSBC Rugby Festival took place in Dublin with over 300 youngsters from all across Ireland receiving coaching from both Robinson and 2005 Lions skipper Brian O'Driscoll, also an HSBC ambassador. Both players, who roomed together on the 2001 Lions Tour, spent time teaching drills and passing on tips at Terenure College in Dublin.
More details of forthcoming HSBC Rugby Festivals will be announced shortly here on lionsrugby.com