Bedford Blues Community and Blues Foundation are continuing to offer support through lockdown with various schemes and initiatives available for young people to continue their development and education through these testing times.
In the absence of regular PE sessions and rugby training, which has been brought to a halt during the third national lockdown, Blues Community are determined to continue showcasing and delivering rugby coaching under Play the Blues Way principles.
One initiative created is to allow aspiring young rugby players to continue working on their skills through specialist one-to-one training sessions at Goldington Road.
Tailored to suit individual needs, Blues Community will specialise all training sessions to ensure that all youngsters expand on their work-ons and continue to develop their own game under Play the Blues Way principles.
Priced from £25 per session, with each session lasting 45 minutes, timings can be agreed to suit the individual. With schools currently closed it’s the perfect way to stay up to speed and continue rugby development. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss availability.
All sessions will be subject to the latest Government advice to ensure a safe and secure manner for all youngsters and our coaching staff and the Blues Community continue to monitor guidelines from the Government and the RFU in line with the club’s COVID risk management plan.
Following a highly successful socially distanced rugby camp during October half-term, Blues Community will be back at Easter with two three-day camps at the home of Bedford Blues.
Hosted between Tuesday March 30 and Thursday April 1, then again from Tuesday April 6 and Thursday April 8, all levels of ability are welcomed. Prices for each three-day camp have been frozen at £70 and can be purchased through the Bedford Blues official website.
Once again, this camp is subject to Bedford Blues’ latest COVID risk management plan and full government advice, but if staying home throughout these unprecedented times is your preference, Blues Community have again come up with a solution.
Throughout January and February, they will be running interactive Zoom sessions tailored to suit all abilities and continue skill development. All online sessions are priced at £3 and can again be booked through the Bedford Blues website.
Head of Community, Adam King said: “Amid school closures throughout the current lockdown, Blues Community want to continue helping player development where possible. We understand the importance of youngsters continuing to improve their rugby while the current national lockdown is in place.
“We hope, through our various different options currently available, we can hone specific areas to develop as well as improving general play. Whenever junior rugby is permitted to return, we want players to be ready to showcase these new skills and improvements thanks to our coaching.”
Away from rugby, Bedford Blues’ charitable arm, Blues Foundation continues to have a great impact in the local community and at Christmas was able to provide 21,000 items to Bedford Foodbank following a collection at Goldington Road.
The new year has already brought some inspiring highlights, with Bedford Blues wing Pat Tapley completing a 100-mile cycle on New Year’s Day to raise vital funds for the charity and the school in which he teaches, St James CEVA.
This cycle began the #TryJanuary campaign, a wellbeing initiative promoting mental and physical health through exercise, with everyone challenged to complete 31 kilometres of any activity and then donate to the charity for their contribution.
Funds generated through schemes like these have since gone to fund frozen meals for the vulnerable in Bedfordshire and will help the latest project, which sees Blues Foundation and Bedford Blues team up with the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire.
One of the biggest problems highlighted during lockdown has been digital poverty, with The Office for National Statistics believing 12% of young people aged 11 to 18 have no internet access through this lockdown. With the majority of school and university students told to remain at home during this current nationwide lockdown and complete work online, the need for technology has never been more prevalent.
After a successful first collection of devices in January, there still remains a dire need for technology to be given to disadvantaged and vulnerable families in the local community so that children and young people across the county have all the tools needed to complete their online learning.
If you think you can help tackle the digital divide, look out for your closest drop-off point, a full list of which can be found on the Blues Foundation website or their social media channels.
Blues Foundation Manager, Tom Harwood said: “It’s been great to support young people across Bedfordshire access education with nearly 100 devices already distributed. We want to continue our support throughout 2021 and beyond. If you would like to help support our work in the local community please get in contact to discuss options.”
Corporate partnerships and sponsorships opportunities remain available for Bedford Blues and Blues Foundation, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.