Newcastle Rugby Foundation successfully launched

Saturday 11 February 2017 Written by: Adam

The community activity of Newcastle Rugby Ltd will enjoy a united future after the new look Newcastle Rugby Foundation was launched last week.

A new umbrella identity that will see both the Falcons Community Foundation and the Newcastle Thunder Community Project work under its auspices, the Newcastle Rugby Foundation will allow both entities to expand and develop their work and make a greater impact in the communities they aim to motivate, educate and inspire.

Since 2005, the Falcons Community Foundation (registered charity) has delivered programmes to over 150,000 people.

Working across Northumberland, Cumbria and Durham, we utilise the power of sport across five pillars: Club Development, Education, Grassroots Sport, Health and Social Inclusion.

Following Newcastle Thunder inclusion into the Newcastle Rugby family in 2014 and the establishment of the Thunder Community Programme, the decision has been made to bring the programmes together.

Unveiled to 150 assembled guests, drawn from existing community partners, local clubs and the north east business community ahead of the Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture against Bath, the organisation’s head Melanie Magee outlined the achievements to date of both teams, highlighting three key programmes out of over 25 that are currently being delivered.

From the Falcons Community Foundation’s efforts, these were the Tackling Health with Greggs programme, which uses professional rugby to convey the importance of a balanced diet and regular exercise and Premiership Rugby’s Hitz Social Inclusion programme, a national initiative ran by Falcons Community Foundation to provide employability training and experiences, alongside regular sports coaching to encourage you people back into employment, training or further education.

Alongside these programmes, Newcastle Thunder’s Rhys Clarke spoke about the rugby league club’s community project’s Sport England engagement programme, which is targeted with growing rugby league in non-traditional areas, this programme focused on Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League, Touch Rugby League and Rugby League fitness.

Delivery for this project has seen coaches introduce the sport for the first time to girls in year 10 & 11 across the region in a six-week programme, run touch rugby sessions and boot-camp style fitness sessions that incorporate elements of rugby.

The launch provided an early collection of funds to the new look Foundation, with a collection from guests generously being matched by existing community partner Barclays.

For further information on the Newcastle Rugby Foundation or to find out how you can be involved in helping use rugby to motivate, educate and inspire communities in the North East and Cumbria, contact Melanie Magee on 0191 214 2810 or email