Cercar-te Rugby School

Type of tool: 
120+ min
Topics addressed: 
Prevention of radicalisation
Social inclusion
Youth policies

The tool consists of a sport-based intervention, centered on the practice of rugby.
Through its inherent and unique characteristics, the practice of rugby allows the participants a wide range of learning, promoting interaction and integration.


We intend to:
- Provide regular rugby practice to children and young people participating in the project;
- Encourage and provide the younger generation (between 6 and 18 years old) with contact with the game of Rugby;
- Contribute to the training, education and social integration of children and young people through sport.
- Work skills such as self-regulation, adaptability, consequential thinking and alternative thinking through teaching and training in various sports tactics.
- Check the development of key skills with practitioners.
- That participants acquire better social standards and values.
- That participants are able to better deal with authority.


This tool was created in response to the need to increase the effectiveness of the prevention of juvenile delinquency, school absenteeism/failure and school attachment. Taking into account the risky social contexts in which potential participants are inserted, a general, comprehensive and appealing approach is needed to promote pro-social and positive ways of living.

This program was chosen because it uses sport as a means of preventing delinquency, since sporting activities are seen by children and young people as more fun and not seen as stigmatizing experiences. Participation in sport provides learning opportunities for positive traits, skills and virtues that protect children and youth from developing delinquent or risky behaviors (Holt et al., 2017). By participating in sports activities, young people are expected to learn team spirit, morality, obeying rules and authority figures, self-control, conflict resolution, coping skills and cooperating with others (Shields & Bredemeier, 1995). This learning is facilitated by the coach, who reflects with the young people their experiences in the sport context (Newman et al., 2017).

The tool consists of a behavioral intervention, in which young people attend training during a previously established time, with the facilitators, who act as a pro-social model, and the children's parents.

Participation costs are subsidized by the promoters, namely those related to medical and sports examinations, insurance, transport to social gatherings and games, gaming equipment, among others.

All rugby training sessions are monitored, and beneficiaries receive training with qualified instructors, who also act as pro-social role models. These trainers were selected on the basis of several criteria, such as professional qualifications as a trainer and professional experience in the social field. One of the specifics of the Cercar-te Rugby School is the internal training of these agents, through the training of the technical team for the role of coach. An example of this is the project coordinator who currently has the sport title of coach – grade 2. These elements are essential and central to the activity, since they are a positive model, they establish a behavioral contract with the participants (in which agreements are made about behaviors are clear), carry out group leisure activities, promote individual counseling, group work and small individual interventions.

Participants are expected to carry out 2-3 hours of training per week, with competitions taking place between 1-2 times a month, on weekends. There are 3 training sessions per week, 1 of which is dedicated exclusively to physical preparation training. Participants are divided into teams, based on their age and number of entries, forming groups of under-8, under-10, under-12, etc., as needed.

In addition, young people are encouraged to participate in other activities such as watching teammates' rugby matches, helping with equipment transport, cleaning training clothes, assisting/assisting training, participating in extracurricular activities at the Rubgy school , like get-togethers.

It is also intended to provide participants with pedagogical guidance by coaches during training, in order to ensure a fixed training structure. Thus, the training consists of an initial welcome speech from the coach, followed by a group discussion that includes reflections on behaviors, on previous trainings, new learnings and the goals to be achieved. At the chosen training site, a space for warm-up, tactics and physical conditioning is selected, and the field is divided between the different teams (juniors, children…) with the respective coach. All of this is followed by a joint conclusion that reflects the pedagogical objectives and appointments are made for the next practice or competition. At the end, trainers can talk individually with participants if there is a need for a more focused intervention.

Materials and resources: 

Training venue (including field/pavilion and changing rooms), materials needed for training (water bottles, rugby balls, training equipment, vests, whistles, etc.), materials needed for competition (water bottles, rugby balls, etc.) rugby, playing equipment, tooth protectors, boots, etc.), transport (to the training venue or to the competition venue), training sheet (training and exercise schedule), attendance sheets.


These types of sport-based interventions have been subject to a number of evaluations, and many of these report that sport has the capacity to create connections between young people, present positive role models and provide positive developmental opportunities.

Additionally, they promote the learning and practical application of social skills in everyday life (Mulholland, 2008).

This tool is supported by a panoply of theoretical models such as “Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility through Sports Practice (TPSR)” (Hellison, 2011); “Development Model for Creativity in Sport” (Santos, Memmert, Sampaio & Leite, 2016). These theoretical models gave rise to interventional approaches based on sport or with the practice of sport associated with the training of various social, cognitive-behavioral or emotional skills. We have, for example, the "Kick Im Boxring" project, a competitive boxing training program, which tries to encourage young people who are in risky contexts to perceive sport as a pro-social activity, so that they can develop in a safer and pedagogical (Laureus & Ecorys, 2012).

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