19 Aug 2021

The Executive Committee are delighted to announce that a community programme of Rugby coaching is to be offered to school children in the South-East London area under the name of Blackheath Rugby. The programme will be led by Habib Annous, stalwart and former First Team player and long-standing member of the Club. Habib will be supported by a team of quality coaches to help deliver the programme. Those that did not see him play in the 80’s and 90’s could not have failed to hear him coaching in recent years on a Sunday morning, not only at Mini but also at Junior levels! Producing many gifted and talented boys he guided one son and a number of his team mates successfully through the Saracens and Kent Developing Player Pathway.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the lack of sports opportunities in schools within the curriculum. In the case of rugby union, there are practically no opportunities available for school children in the local area of Blackheath to participate in the game in school time, receive formal coaching and gain the multiple benefits associated with this team sport. At present, the UK Government is actively encouraging schools to provide sports facilities for children within the curriculum but there are not the resources available to deliver this successfully.

There are a range of significant benefits to be achieved from the programme. First and most importantly, a successful programme will introduce children to the game of rugby union who may not have previously participated or experienced the game. The health benefits of the children participating in a sport have been well documented, but our hope is, by participating in the programme, children will undertake exercise, learn new skills, and hopefully be enthused to continue the game by joining a club.

Our Chairman Rory O’Sullivan repeated the Club’s philosophy of “One Club One Family” at the recent AGM and strongly feels that this programme perfectly reflects this goal. He and the other members of the Executive are fully behind Habib and wish the greatest of success with this community based project. Blackheath Rugby are confident that children participating in this programme and learning thorough structured play and the sporting rugby experience will reap the physical and mental benefits that come from the game of rugby.

Anyone keen to know more about the programme and its content should contact the Programme Director Habib Annous via email ­