The CDA in The Hague advocates rugby to bring troubled youth to the right path. Elsewhere in the country it is working so well that more and more cities are thinking of ‘rugby projects’ where early school dropouts and youth with criminal records learn to fall, rise and move.
Christian Democrats say the turn-over project in Alkmaar, Castrikam and Den Helder has proved to be a great success. More than eighty percent of participants had jobs or had returned to school after a year-and-a-half program. With Rugby, tough youngsters learn what it means to have discipline, respect and the ability to face adversity. “Many problem youth, such as early school dropouts or young people who are in contact with the police or judiciary, need this,” says Seuss Pluimgraf of the CDA.
During the first months of the programme, young people are on the rugby field three times a week. They are then followed for another year and assisted in finding a new job or apprenticeship.
Many problem youth need it
Councilor Des Ramnath now wants to know from the council what they think about the turn-over project. He also requested the success rate of various reunification projects in the Municipality of The Hague. As far as Ramnath is concerned, the city council is going to talk to the facilitators of the turn-over.
There has been a case of dealing with troubled youth from Britain through rugby. There, former English rugby player Ken Cowen started a foundation called ‘School of Hard Knocks’ (SOHK) in 2012 and moved into the field of welfare work. Youth performances have also been broadcast through the commercial channel Sky over the years. Several prominent figures have already collaborated with SOHK, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
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