A pioneering programme to promote educational achievement by bringing rugby to some of India’s most deprived cities and districts, has completed its 2016 tour.

The Delhi Hurricanes School Rugby Development Programme is built on a model first pioneered in the UK by the Atlas Foundation.

This promotes discipline and team working through the sport and has been shown to increase academic achievement in areas of social and economic deprivation here in the UK by 12 per cent.

It’s connection to the UK window industry comes courtesy of Sliders UK’s Operations Director, former London Irish loose-head prop Alex Murphy who coaches as part of the scheme.

He first formed links with the Delhi Hurricanes during his time as Business Head of Fenesta Building Systems. India’s largest PVC-U window manufacturer the company is part of the chemicals giant, DCM Shriram.

And also in the form of a sponsorship donation from Sliders UK with support from Duraflex, through the Atlas Foundation, which will finance three full-time coaching posts in Delhi.

This year’s summer programme culminated in a festival of rugby held across Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta. “I went out to coach and support the programme and the engagement that we got was absolutely incredible”, said Alex.

He continued: “The final day we had more than 300 kids there. These are people with very little, and they travelled some really long distances to take part.

“There were these two little girls who came from miles in their very best dresses and to see them running around playing rugby was a wonderful but at the same time, a very humbling experience.

“The programme makes a really big difference to people’s lives for not a lot of money and I’d like to thank the industry for the support its shown for it.”

The Atlas foundation was set up by 114 England Cap loose head prop Jason Leonard, to provide a link between businesses looking to make a contribution as part of their CSR strategies and grassroots rugby worldwide as a funding organization.

It’s also developed a network of ‘Champions’ who work with projects around the world, providing leadership and support to development programmes.

For more information on the Atlas Foundation please visit www.theatlasfoundation.org.uk.

For more information on Sliders UK please email sales@sliders-uk.com or visit www.sliders-uk.com