Improved exam results, reduced truancy and exclusions, all documented outcomes for young people playing rugby. The ATLAS Foundation will fund rugby development programmes for schools in deprived areas in the US and around the world. Our first focus is the Memphis Inner City Rugby project (MICR). This remarkable project has received worldwide acclaim for its work in Memphis; a city ranking #1 for American child poverty. Our second focus is on work in Buenos Aries & in South Africa
Teenagers from tough neighbourhoods have very poor education and employment forecasts. In Memphis a couple of visionary teachers have turned this around. Now in their 5th year and 100% of their graduates have been accepted to college. . In shanty towns of Buenos Aires and the townships of South Africa the same problems are met with the same solution - rugby. Kids get an education, coaching qualifications and real jobs, turning their lives around.
ATLAS wants to secure the future of these projects. At the moment it is only possible through the goodwill of a few people who already have full time jobs. ATLAS will pay for trained rugby coaches to work in schools with children aged 11 - 18 yrs, and train teachers so the benefits are sustained into the future
In the UK exam results rose by 12% across the schools who played rugby in the most disadvantaged areas. In Memphis the athletic and academic results are proven with 100% reaching college, in India pass rates have risen from 15% to 80%. ATLAS wants to ensure this can continue and grow. In the US, South Africa and Argentina, access to rugby is disproportionately skewed towards affluent communities. In our projects over 90% are from minority backgrounds.