Just a few months ago, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award committee decided to team up with the Dallaglio Foundation, in order to encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in sport, and join the award programme. As of September 2013, the DofE has been working with Lawrence Dallaglio – the former rugby star who launched the foundation – to help teens to get involved with the DofE, via their local rugby associations.
Dallaglio’s charity is an organisation which virtually everyone, including Tunde Folawiyo, is familiar with. Launched just five years ago, it has already managed to raise over £7 million, by hosting annual events such as the Golf & Wine Club, the 8-Rocks and the Dallaglio Cycle Slam. His collaborative project with the DofE is being funded by ICAP, who have donated enough money to enable at least 200 people to join a rugby club and gain their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. The goal of this venture is to teach teens how to work well under pressure, communicate effectively with others, and work as a team.
Speaking to the press, Lawrence Dallaglio stated that sport can have a profound impact on a young person’s life, and that partnering with the DofE would allow participants to not only enjoy all of the benefits of playing rugby, but also provide them with the opportunity to achieve accolades which will make them more employable in the future.
He went on to say that the values which had been instilled in him through the practice of this particular sport – things such as trust, honesty, sportsmanship and respect for others – had helped him to cope with a very challenging period during his teens. He added that he hoped that his foundation, along with the DofE, would help other young people going through similarly difficult times.
Adedoyin Sonibare was one of the first DofE students to get involved in this project. She joined Dallaglio for a rugby training session, which she described as one of her most enjoyable DofE experiences. She remarked that it had been a privilege to have been taught by Dallaglio, and added that he was a lovely person who was very supportive and encouraging. Sports enthusiasts like Tunde Folawiyo will understand that training with Dallaglio is a dream for many people; he is widely regarded as one of England’s greatest rugby players, having participated in 85 matches for his country, including the 2003 World Cup.