The Duke of Cambridge today (Thursday 1 October) launched the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Coach Core apprenticeship programme.

Coach Core was created by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2012 as part of the Olympics Legacy and it aims to improve the quality and availability of sports coaching, especially in schools and communities in deprived areas, while also creating employment opportunities.

With financial support from The Hunter Foundation, the WRU programme will be run over a 12 month period in the Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons regions, supporting 12 young people aged 18-24. The coaching and mentoring programme will help the young people gain new skills and qualifications in rugby development and coaching, supported by WRU staff and coaches.

His Royal Highness met the 12 newly selected apprentices and observed some rugby activity at Sport Wales before attending the Wales v Fiji Rugby World Cup match at the Millennium Stadium.

Former WRU rugby development officer Carl Scales has been appointed to develop and manage the WRU Coach Core programme, while Neath Port Talbot College is supporting the WRU as the learning provider to put the successful apprentices through recognised qualifications and invaluable on-the-job work experience with the Welsh Rugby Union, one of the leading sports governing bodies in the country.

WRU chairman Gareth Davies said, “We are delighted to have received the support of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to enable us to set up this exciting new programme. The WRU Coach Core Apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain new skills and experience within the field of rugby and sports coaching. It will open doors, not only for the apprentices themselves, but also for all those they engage with on a community level during the 12 month programme.”

Supporting children and young people to achieve their potential is one of three key areas of focus for The Royal Foundation. Through strategic partnerships, seed funding and raising awareness, the Foundation helps young people to build their skills, confidence and aspirations. Engagement through sport plays a key role in achieving these outcomes.

Four Coach Core programmes have already been run in other locations: two in London with Greenhouse Sports and two in Glasgow with Glasgow Life. This is the first Coach Core programme in Wales but The Royal Foundation is actively looking for further opportunities to expand the programme throughout the country.

Sir Tom Hunter, The Hunter Foundation chairman said, “This is a fantastic way of supporting young people and their communities to deliver sustainable positive outcomes. We are delighted again to support The Royal Foundation as they grow the already successful Coach Core programme and being part Welsh, this is a brilliant next step in that journey!”

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “The WRU is to be congratulated for their forward thinking approach that has already produced such good results in terms of persuading more young people to take part in school and club rugby. Adding this apprenticeship opportunity to their scheme demonstrates how well sport can benefit both the individual and the community and I look forward to seeing other sports follow the WRU’s lead.”


Editor’s Notes

Coach Core
Coach Core aspires to make young people more employable and create a future generation of first class sports coaches who will be role models for other young people in their communities. Coach Core provides opportunities for young people who are not in higher education, employment or training and provides high quality vocational training required by employers. Coach Core aims to inspire young people through sport.

The Royal Foundation
The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is the Patrons’ primary charitable vehicle, and hopes to become a leading philanthropic investor, effectively using its time and resources to create lasting change in targeted areas and geographies, based on need and on the interests of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Foundation will seek to invest in, or partner with, organisations with proven impact, using its profile and leverage to create a multiplier effect in resources, outcomes and knowledge. The Royal Foundation currently has three areas of focus; young people, the Armed Forces, and conservation.

The Hunter Foundation
The Hunter Foundation (THF) is a proactive venture philanthropy that seeks to invest in determining model solutions, in partnership with others, to troubling systemic issues relating to poverty eradication and educational enablement.