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Beacon Rugby

04 Apr 2020   |   Jason Thurley   |   Beacon Academy

Thirteen-year-old Joe Morton will represent Beacon Academy in a special presentation before Saturday’s big game.
He was one of a student team which designed the school’s new shirt as part of a programme run by the Rugby Football Union. Rugby union shirts will be presented to one of their student designers – on the pitch at Twickenham before England’s crunch Six
Nations clash against Wales.

Rugby Union players at Beacon Academy model the new shirt.

Head of PE at Beacon Fran McEvoy and assistant headteacher Paul Sunley will accompany Joe on Saturday. She said: “When I
was appointed a couple of years ago I wanted to get rugby back on the sport curriculum. We were recognised as a developing school and selected for the All Schools Programme by the RFU. It has paid for equipment and professional coaches to come into the academy and we have partnered with Cleethorpes Rugby Club so our students can play out of school. “Students were invited to design a shirt and the RFU would produce them for the school. We’ve just taken delivery and Saturday’s presentation marks the official handover.”

Joe, a tight head prop and wearing the appropriate number 3 shirt, was “very excited” about the trip. “I’ve not been to a rugby
match before so going to Twickenham for my first one will be quite something,” he said. “Apparently I will go on to the pitch with the
England players before the game. I’m just excited. It’s a once-in-alifetime opportunity and I’m grateful. I could not believe it when
Miss McEvoy told me.”

She said Joe had been chosen because of his commitment. “He has come out of the RFU programme and is a great example to others. He’s really enthusiastic about his rugby and now plays for Cleethorpes.

“He works and trains hard and has shown a real commitment to extra-curricular activities, not just rugby. That is why he was chosen
and his peers have been most supportive,” Miss McEvoy said. She was also looking forward to going to Twickenham. “I’m certain
it will be a memorable day for all of us,” she said. “I’d like to thank the RFU for the invitation. The programme’s been great for our school and children. With the link up with Cleethorpes, there is a local exit route for them to have lifelong participation in sport. Every year group, boys and girls, plays rugby. It is coached in an inclusive way by the RFU.”

Hollie Witney (16), Jessica Smith (15) and Rhys Denford joined Joe in the rugby shirt design workshop, held at Wetherby Rugby Union
Football Club. They all enjoyed the experience. Hollie said: “It was explained to us about how strips have changed
over the years and then we looked at some of the traditional styles of design. Ours has that traditional feel and uses our school logo and colours. We did it digitally and it’s great to see it produced. We’re in our last year and it feels as though we will have left our mark as this design will be used for years to come.”

Jessica, who plays for Cleethorpes, said: “I really like how it’s come out. With it being made by students it feels more personal. I’m
proud that we have created something.”

Beacon Academy head teacher Jason Thurley said: “Seeing the team in a shirt designed by the students makes me feel really
proud. I’d like to thank Ms McEvoy and her team for bringing rugby union and other sports such as gymnastics back on to the school
curriculum. Inclusive games such as Boccia and New Age Kurling have also been introduced. I’d also like to thank the RFU for the
support and encouragement it has given us.

Its programme has fitted neatly into our passion around extracurricular opportunities and we achieve outstanding GCSE results
in sports science and sports studies. I will be looking out for Joe on the television on Saturday and hope they have a fantastic day.”

Joe with Ms McEvoy before both set off to the home of English rugby, Twickenham

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