Prince Harry Suprises Youth on Design Your Own Rugby Jersey Workshop

Surprise Royal visit at Canterbury kit design workshop

35 pupils from schools across the South East got an extra special surprise during a Canterbury Kit Design workshop when HRH Prince Harry paid them an unexpected visit.

The students were attending a kit design workshop as part of the All Schools programme, an initiative launched in 2012 by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in partnership with the Rugby Football Foundation, which aims to help more secondary state school children play rugby. Canterbury is Official Partner to All Schools, and Prince Harry is Patron.

The objective of the kit design workshop is to get schools designing their own team rugby shirt. The session explores what rugby means to them, whilst teaching pupils about the core values of the game, the pride associated with the England shirt and the importance of colours, logos and emblems. Canterbury then turns these drawings into final bespoke designs to be proudly worn by the school’s rugby team on the pitch.

The pupils were engaged in the workshop at Twickenham on 17th October when Prince Harry dropped by to check out their rugby shirt designs.

Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive, RFU commented: “It was fantastic to see Prince Harry chatting to pupils as they designed their shirts. Judging by their reaction they all had a truly memorable experience and one I hope will encourage them to continue enjoying rugby.”

Before the surprise Royal visit, a representative from the RFU had given the schools a brief history of the rugby shirt and its values, inviting questions and feedback from the pupils, then one of Canterbury’s experienced shirt designers talked them through the technical elements of designing the shirt, and things to consider when creating their own design.

The schools were then given a free hand to design the shirt they wanted for their school rugby team to be competing in. They were encouraged to think about the colours, what their shirt meant to them, any mottos and values, and the pride they’d feel wearing their own design. Teachers were there to help and advise, but were given strict instructions not to take over; any teacher seen to be doing so was yellow carded and ‘sin-binned’ by their pupils.

By the end of the workshop each school had decided on the final design which they presented to the rest of the groups, before it was signed off and taken away by Canterbury to be worked up as a CAD to be put into production.

Chris Stephenson, CEO of Canterbury said: “This is our second year as Official Kit Partner to All Schools; it’s a fantastic initiative to get more secondary state schools interested in and playing rugby, we are fully committed to supporting the programme. We’ve been receiving amazing feedback from those involved in our kit design workshops; I don’t think the pupils attending at Twickenham will forget their special day in a hurry!”

The 100 schools that took part in the first year of the All Schools programme were presented with their custom designed shirts at Twickenham in February at the England v Italy RBS 6 Nations game.

Stuart Lancaster, England Head Coach said: “The match shirt is a source of huge pride for the players. When they are presented with it before an international it is a very special moment for them and the whole squad. By teaching these pupils who are new to the game the core values of
rugby union and the history of the shirt, I’m sure that these school teams will share the same passion for their own design.”

The schools will be presented with their shirts in the New Year. Canterbury will provide each school participating in the 2013 All Schools programme with 20 shirts in their bespoke design. (100 schools in total).



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