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Beyond Rugby programme spreads to Berkeley

Berkeley has been added to the Beyond Rugby Programme, starting in October (File photo by Nicola Muirhead)

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd presents Family Centre with a donation that will allow the Beyond Rugby Bermuda Programme to expand into Berkeley Institute.

Beyond Rugby is a collaboration between the Bermuda Rugby Football Union and Family Centre that helps young people to develop good character and succeed in school while having fun and staying fit. The group offers a full rugby programme, a meal and transportation home after practice, along with personal social support and case management for youth.

The programme achieves great results owing to the partnership and resources that support young people. Family Centre organises the support to young people and families, and the BRFU organises the training and games.

The programme is offered at Dellwood Middle School and CedarBridge.

“The generosity of Axis Capital Holdings Ltd has allowed this valuable programme to expand into Berkeley Institute,” Martha Dismont, the executive director of Family Centre, said. “We are very pleased by this support and excited by the opportunity for greater personal success for students. The students at Berkeley Institute have been playing rugby for the past two years and the addition of this programme support will make a world of difference for their overall success.”

The rugby component will be complemented with homework support, which will offer participants a safe, structured and nurturing after-school environment to help the youth to improve their academic success, while increasing positive relationships and social skills. Students interested in the rugby aspect will also have to participate in homework support programming before each rugby practice. The Beyond Rugby programme also gives students direct access to counselling support, if needed. “Our approach is to use the game and our time together to build loyalty to one another and redirect frustration and aggression through the shared values of discipline, teamwork and respect,” said John Layfield, a Beyond Rugby volunteer coach.

Phyllis Curtis-Tweed, the principal of Berkeley Institute, said: “We are thrilled to welcome this new dimension to our partnerships with Family Centre. The Beyond Rugby Programme will nurture and support students who are champions on the field to apply similar acumen in the classroom and beyond. Many thanks to Axis Capital Holdings Ltd for investing in our youth and our future. Respice Finem!”

Family Centre had received requests to expand the programme in the past, but was unable to because of lack of funding. Albert Benchimol, chief executive officer and president of Axis said: “Axis has long been committed to the healthy development of Bermuda’s youth and we have been looking for a sports and education programme that encourages young Bermudians to excel academically, physically and socially. As a long-term supporter of Family Centre, we are thrilled to help them expand their successful Beyond Rugby Bermuda Programme to the Berkeley Institute.

“With the Beyond Rugby Programme, Berkeley students will receive academic support, coaching and a healthy, safe and supportive environment for their after-school activities. We’re very pleased to support Berkeley students in their quest for academic and sports excellence and become successful both on and off the field of play.”

The programme will officially begin at Berkeley in October.