Sopra, the leading European IT Services Organisation, announced today it has sponsored the employment of two apprentices to fulfil the Community Coaching Apprenticeships for one of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners, Saracens Sport Foundation. The apprentices will start their employment with Saracens Sport Foundation in August and will be focused on supporting and developing the Saracens BLAST Rugby Development programme.
Saracens Sport Foundation was founded in 2000 with the mission to inspire communities and change lives through the power of sport. A key programme for the charity is the BLAST programme sponsored by Sopra which aims to introduce rugby to challenged schools in the Barnet area through a comprehensive programme of in-school rugby. The programme aims to provide young boys and girls normally excluded from sport with opportunities to get involved in rugby through the provision of professional coaching, teacher training, fixture evenings and developing links with local clubs to allow players to continue outside of school. Using the values of rugby to engage these pupils the programme helps build confidence and esteem. A further strand of the programme will this year see three emerging rugby schools supported in their teacher development to ensure that rugby continues on the curriculum and they are able to participate in regional competitions.
"We are very grateful to Sopra for sponsoring the apprenticeships and their continued support of the BLAST programme. Their funding of the community apprentices will enable us to grow and develop the programme to create a sustainable legacy for sport and provide employment opportunities for young people in North London."Sam Fulling, Foundation Manager, Saracens Sport Foundation.
The apprentices will work closely with Saracens, Sopra and the programme brand ambassador Kyran Bracken and community coach Josh Ward to support and develop the BLAST programme.
"Having been involved in rugby for 30 years this programme is the most effective at bringing the game of rugby to those who would never get the chance. Many have tried and failed to have any lasting influence, this programme has proved to leave a lasting legacy ensuring the game continues at these schools long after we are gone. The programme is now being copied by governing bodies and I am proud to have been part of Sopra's investment in the future of the game." Kyran Bracken, Former England Rugby International & BLAST Brand Ambassador