• ENGSO Youth

Sport for Employment and Education: Dallaglio Rugby Works

Stefan Ferencz is an ENGSO Youth Young Delegate and a member of the “Employment and Education” working group.

Originally from Romania, Stefan is now based in the UK where, as an Account Manager for Oaks Consultancy, he supports socially-minded and charitable sports organisations to diversify their revenue streams and access grant funding.

In 2018, Oaks were commissioned by Dallaglio RugbyWorks to secure grant income for their community interventions focused on getting disadvantaged teenagers in the UK aged 14-17 (who are outside of mainstream education and at risk of involvement in criminal activity) into sustained education, employment or training.

Over a 1-year period, circa £160,000 was raised for the Dallaglio RugbyWorks programme which consisted of:

Sessional rugby coaching designed to promote the fundamental values of rugby (teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, sportsmanship) and adapted to instil positive character traits based on recent behaviour incidents in young people’s lives.

Touch rugby tournaments that provided a crucial opportunity for participants to meet peers, develop diverse relationships, develop self-confidence and feel pride in their progression and achievements.

One-to-one mentoring to support the difficult transition after completing secondary school into further education or employment

The RugbyWorks programme has so far achieved fantastic outcomes for disadvantaged young people in the UK, including:

  • More excluded young people participated in constructive, skills-building activities on a regular basis.

  • Young people have improved their wellbeing through raised aspirations and self-confidence.

  • Violent behaviour incidents at their school were reduced.

  • Young people became better at handling aggression.

  • Signs of positive behavioural change amongst excluded young people were visible shown through autonomy, attitude, communication, core-thinking skills and reliability.

  • Higher levels of attendance at their school to contribute to improved academic results.

  • More young people develop key transferable skills to secure “employment, education or training” status.

The article is part of the series of best practices and research/case studies that support the idea of education and employability through sports.