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Redhill pupils' right Royal rugby surprise
12:10pm Monday 21st October 2013 in News
Pupils from The Warwick School in Redhill got an extra special surprise during a rugby football workshop – a visit from Prince Harry.
The students were taking part in a rugby kit design workshop being run by Canterbury, the partner to the All Schools programme, a drive launched by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) with the Rugby Football Foundation, to help more secondary state school children play rugby.
Prince Harry is patron of the programme and dropped by the kit designing session at Twickenham, being attended by 35 pupils from schools across the region.
The aim of the workshop was to get schools designing their own team rugby shirt. The session also explored what rugby meant to the pupils, whilst teaching them about the core values of the game, the pride associated with the England shirt, and the importance of colours, logos and emblems. Canterbury then turns the youngsters' drawings into final bespoke designs to be proudly worn by the school’s rugby team on the pitch. The Prince checked out the pupils' various rugby designs, including those from The Warwick School, and chatted to the students about them.
Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the RFU, said: “It was fantastic to see Prince Harry chatting to pupils as they designed their shirts. “Judging by their reaction, they all had a truly memorable experience, and one I hope will encourage them to continue enjoying rugby.” Before the surprise royal visit, Canterbury’s shirt designers talked the pupils through the technical elements of designing a kit, and things to consider when creating their own design.
The schools were then given a free hand to design the shirt they wanted for their school rugby team to be competing in.
Teachers were there to help and advise, but were given strict instructions not to take over, and any teacher seen to be doing so was yellow carded and 'sin-binned’ by their pupils.
By the end of the workshop each school had decided on the final design, which they presented to the rest of the groups, before it was signed off and taken away by Canterbury to be worked up to be put into production.
Chris Stephenson, chief executive officer of Canterbury, said: “This is our second year as official kit partner to All Schools. “It’s a fantastic initiative to get more secondary state schools interested in, and playing, rugby.
“I don’t think the pupils attending at Twickenham will forget their special day in a hurry!”
Stuart Lancaster, England head coach, said: “The match shirt is a source of huge pride for the players. “When they are presented with it before an international it is a very special moment for them and the whole squad.”
He said: “By teaching these pupils who are new to the game the core values of rugby union and the history of the shirt, I’m sure that these school teams will share the same passion for their own design.”
The schools will be presented with their shirts in the New Year.