Rugby as a Tool for Rehabilitation and Reintegration
17 October, 2011. Tbilisi, Georgia. The progress achieved in teaching Rugby at the Special Educational Establishment for convicted young offenders was summed up at the special event organized by the Georgian Rugby Union and the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance with the support of UNICEF. The rugby initiative, including the rehabilitation of the sports field in Avchala Special Educational Establishment in Tbilisi is financially supported by the European Union.
In April 2011 Rugby lessons were introduced at Avchala to help them learn about healthy lifestyles and teamwork. Up to now 60 children have been involved.
“For UNICEF sport is critical for a child’s development. Involvement in sport can boost children’s health, improve academic performance and help reduce crime,” said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “Rugby is very popular in Georgia and the introduction of Rugby lessons for children in Avchala has been an important undertaking made possible through a close collaboration of the Georgian Rugby Union and the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance. We are happy to support the introduction of this important initiative.”
The Rugby lessons will last till November 2011. The lessons are considered a component of the ongoing juvenile justice reform.
The rugby lessons in Avchala Special Establishment are conducted twice a week for two hours. During the lessons healthy lifestyles and good hygiene messages have also been disseminated among young people. Members of the Georgian Rugby National Team visited the children; and a friendly match was organized, including members of the Georgian youth rugby club, Lelo and members of young national teams who participated in the Junior World Rugby Trophy in May 2011. Total Rugby TV recorded a film about the initiative which was transmitted in over 30 countries.
UNICEF is on the ground in 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.
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