Rugby stars help champion pupils’ mental health

Hundreds of primary school pupils across the North West took part in a tag rugby tournament at Sale Sharks’ training ground in Greater Manchester to help champion children’s mental health.

The ‘Are you AO-K’ tournament was co-hosted by online electricals retailer AO and the Premiership Rugby club’s charitable arm – the Sale Sharks Foundation. In total, 338 children from nine schools took part in the event, which celebrated pupils completing the six-week ‘Are You AO-K’ curriculum.

The programme has been delivered in local primary schools by the Sharks Foundation team, who have used workshops and tag rugby lessons to raise awareness amongst children about positive mental health and wellbeing – including how exercise and diet can contribute to this.

Throughout the day, Sale Sharks stars such as Jonny Hill, Dan du Preez and Raffi Quirke gave tips and advice to the children, as they competed in a thrilling tournament and showcased the tag rugby skills they have learned during the programme.

All nine schools taking part also enjoyed other activities with AO and Sale Sharks. A DJ and fun inflatables were provided.

The day also provided local schoolchildren with a fantastic opportunity to meet some of their sporting idols, whilst socialising with pupils from neighbouring areas.

Georgie Perris-Redding, community programme manager at the Sale Sharks Foundation, said: “Are you AO-K has made such a valuable difference to young people right across the North West. 

“We are so proud to be involved in this project and the impact that it has made. It’s fantastic to see the club’s principal partner working together with the Sharks Foundation to support mental well-being and change lives in our region.” 

Vicky Monk, group marketing director at AO added: “What a fantastic day we all had celebrating the end of the ‘Are you AO-K’ programme – a curriculum that we are proud to have created alongside the Sale Sharks Foundation. 

“We’re so pleased with the impact that this programme continues to have on the mental health and well-being of many young people across the region.

“As well as being proud front of shirt sponsors of Sale Sharks, we’re so thrilled that our sponsorship extends to directly fund this programme and goes in to helping young people in the North West.”

Sarah Percival, Year Five teacher at Gaskell Primary School in Bolton, shared her thoughts on the event, adding: “We have a lot of different nationalities and cultures in our school, who sometimes aren’t involved in community clubs. So having Sale Sharks in school doing that foundation programme has given them an opportunity that they might not usually get.

“Then to have a day out of the classroom, in the sunshine, has been absolutely fantastic. They’ve all loved it.”

You may also like...