Shropshire Star

Telford pupils get in a ruck thanks to police and PCC

Pupils at a Shropshire school are attending weekly rugby training sessions thanks to West Mercia Police and the police and crime commissioner (PCC).

The pupils at Telford Hornets

Youngsters at Telford Priory School are attending the sessions at Telford Hornets rugby club every Friday.

More than 40 students have been taking part in the training, which was launched by former Scotland international forward Kevin McKenzie, who won 14 caps.

The sessions have been made possible thanks to £2,000 funding from West Mercia’s PCC John Campion, which is being used to pay for kit, boots, coaching and insurance.

The shirts won by the pupils have the We Don’t Buy Crime logo on the arms and they are designing their own crest for on the front of the shirts that will also include West Mercia Police, Telford Priory School and Telford Hornets crests.

The sessions last two and a half hours every Friday morning and pupils aged 14 to 16 are being joined by their teachers and coaches from the Hornets.

“We are also having a police presence at each session to engage with the pupils,” said Sergeant Richard Jones, of East Telford Safer Neighbourhood Team. “The project is aimed at the harder to reach youngsters who have been excluded in the past and may need that extra support and also at those keen to play sport.”

John Campion, PCC, added: “It’s amazing to see the funding I have provided making a real difference to the lives of young people from Telford Priory School.

“Sport has a fantastic way of uniting people so it’s great that pupils, teachers and coaches are coming together and playing the sport they love using their brand new equipment and kit.

“I also applaud the work of the East Telford Safer Neighbourhood Team to engage with students to ensure they are supported to make the right decisions, inside and outside of school, so they can grow up happily and safely.”

Mr McKenzie, who used to play as a forward for the Scotland team, gave an address to the children as part of the launch of the project.

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