Rugby Elites Set To Work With Bermuda Youth

May 9, 2016

The elite of British and European rugby are once again bound for Bermuda to share their skills and knowledge with the island’s youngsters and the local community, with members of the Harlequins RFC and London Irish set to arrive on June 2.

The visit will include a week of school visits, coaching workshops, and fund raising activities.

A spokesperson said, “This year members of the Harlequins RFC and London Irish have teamed together and will be heading to Bermuda on June 2, 2016 for a week of school visits, coaching workshops and fund raising activities. Harlequins has a rich heritage in rugby in the UK and abroad – and will be competing in the European Challenge Cup final 2016.

“For almost a century and a half the club has contributed generously to the development of the game both on and off the pitch. On the pitch Harlequins’ players have performed with distinction not just for England but for other nations; and this year is no different with many of their players bringing honour on themselves and their club.

“The players are planning to visit a number of local schools to provide an introduction to rugby and to speak to Bermuda’s school children about how sport in general instills leadership, team work, courage, sportsmanship and respect.

“The Harlequins Invitational squad will be raising some much needed funding for the Beyond Rugby charity and the Bermuda Rugby Youth Section. Beyond Rugby Bermuda is a partnership between the Family Centre and the BRFU working with “at risk” school children that may otherwise get lost in society.

“The charity does exactly as it says and goes “beyond rugby” to provide these children with valuable social and life skills and to provide them with options.

“The Charity has seen a number of successes in recently year and the program formally expanded into Berkeley High school during 2015/16 alongside the original participants of Dellwood Middle School and Cedarbridge Academy.”

Gareth Nokes, the event organizer and chairman of Youth Rugby in Bermuda, said, “Rugby is a game steeped in tradition, its players and supporters enjoy a deep sense of community and involvement.

“The core values and traditions of the sport develop from the first time a young player shakes hands with their opposite number, leading to a life-long passion for involvement with the game at all levels on and off the field.

“Bringing Harlequins and London Irish Premiership players, many of whom have played at the highest level of the sport for many years, is not only exciting for Bermuda but it is hoped the workshops and seminars will inspire our youth to embrace the core values rugby offers.

“We must thank the generosity of the local and international businesses who have once again committed funding to make this such a successful event for Bermuda – without their generosity, this initiative would not be possible.”

Patrick Calow, the BRFU Youth Development officer and coordinator of the Beyond Rugby program, said, “We are absolutely thrilled by the prospect of having such high-priofile stars of Harlequins and London Irish participate in the Beyond Rugby program.

“Bermuda’s ability to attract teams of this calibre is a huge motivation to the kids in our program and those in schools who maybe experiencing rugby for the first time.”

A look at last year’s Atlantic Rugby Cup:

“Following last year’s defeat, the opposition has been strengthened in 2016. The Harlequins Invitational XV will face a firm test against a “Bermuda Barbarians” team once again managed by former England and British Lions hooker, Lee Mears.

“A number of Harlequin’s stakeholders have a Bermuda connection and are already involved with a number of community and charitable projects in Bermuda such as the Girls’ rugby program which saw the first ever competitive Girls High School rugby match take place earlier this year.”

David Ellis, CEO of Harlequins, said, “Harlequins is a club that takes enormous pride in the development and the success of our own Academy.

“As a club we aspire to challenge and educate young people who have limited access to resources and support in order to improve their health, well-being and future life opportunities.

“We are delighted to be able to support Beyond Rugby Bermuda who are working extremely hard to galvanize community cohesion, engaging people in volunteering, fundraising and development opportunities. As such, we are proud and excited to be involved with Beyond Rugby Bermuda and the Bermuda Rugby Youth programs.

“These programs are very much aligned with our core values.

“Our squad came to the island in 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed their visit. We have joined together with some players from London Irish to once again experience the warm reception which the island extended to us last year.”

“Following last years successful visit, Harlequins alongside their main club sponsor, DHL, have sponsored the Bermuda Rugby Football Union’s Sunday morning rugby program which see around 200 children from under-6 to under-19 participate in the Harlequins Bermuda Rugby academy.

“The team arrive on June 2, 2016. Throughout the week, along with the school workshops and their involvement with the beyond rugby program itself, the squad will also participate in a series of fund-raising events.

“The organizers have arranged a charity golf event to be held at Tuckers Point Golf Club on Tuesday 7th June, a touch rugby tournament on Monday 6th June alongside a corporate dinner on Friday 3rd June at the Hamilton Princess Hotel.

“The Harlequins Invitational XV will play against the Bermuda Barbarians on Saturday June 4, 2016. The Bermuda Barbarians team itself containing a number of Premiership Superstars. The match, to be held at the National Sports Stadium, will kick-off at 7pm after which the crowds will be entertained until midnight. Entrance is $20 on the door or $15 in advance [].

“There will be a fully licensed bar. Doors open at 2pm with the Bermuda National Men’s Team in action against the Bahamas in their World Cup Qualifying match kicking off at 4pm.

“The Bermuda Women’s team will also be displaying their skills as well as several youth rugby matches showcasing the skills of the Bermuda Youth program – including our Beyond Rugby players. So please come down and make a day of it.

“If you or your company is interested in being part of these events please contact Gareth Nokes at or Jacs Nokes at, or visit the website for more information on the events and prices.

“To find out more about the Beyond Rugby program and how you or your child can get involved please email Patrick Calow, the BRFU’s Youth Development Office at”

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  1. Tania Stafford says:

    What an amazing initiative, thank you all!