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Bonito inspring lesson with rugby great Dallaglio
6:00pm Thursday 29th August 2013 in Sport
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holder Alicia Bonito experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when she joined Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio for a canoeing lesson along London’s Regent’s Canal.
The DofE Award, a youth development charity, has teamed up with the Dallaglio Foundation for a new initiative called ‘Powerful Together’ which will allow rugby clubs across the country to apply for funding to set themselves up as DofE Centres of Excellence from September 2013.
And for 17-year-old Woodhouse College student Bonito, the chance to practise her canoeing and rugby skills with Dallaglio instantly became one of her most memorable DofE experiences.
“It was really fun and a great new experience and it was brilliant to have Dallaglio with us as we’ve all seen him on the TV but it was great to have him taking part in the activities with us,” Bonito said.
“I can definitely see a lot more young people turning to rugby now because he is such an icon and the DoE is such a great programme.
“The skills you learn are so transferable to anything you do in life, but the communication skills I have learnt are so valuable and I would encourage anyone to take up the DoE award programme.”
Also in action from Woodhouse College was Anjali Chauhan, who made use of her team work skills when she took to her canoe for the first time.
“It was absolutely brilliant and I’ve never canoed before so I’ve learnt how to do it and my team work skills were definitely tested,” said the Barnet youngster.
“It was very inspirational to have Dallaglio with us as it’s not an opportunity that comes round a lot.
“The best thing about the award is that it provides a challenge and I like a challenge which is why I enjoy it so much.”
Former England captain Dallaglio hopes that his foundation joining forces with the DofE will ensure more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get to experience playing rugby.
“The award is widely recognised as the best non-educational award outside of A-levels as it gives young people from the age of 14 into their early 20s the opportunity to add skills and build on their self-belief,” he said.
“To be able to expose this to as many people in the rugby community as possible will have great benefits.
“The values that sit around rugby such as integrity and honesty are lessons for life and being part of a team definitely gives you a different set of skills.
“I wanted to help young people as I had an excellent support system around me when I was younger but I know that other young people don’t, which is why I think we have an obligation to give them an opportunity to advance.
“I know that the fit between the DofE and rugby clubs through the Dallaglio Foundation is going to be fantastic.”
Powerful Together uses the rugby community to enable more young people to complete their Duke of Edinburgh's Award. For more information, visit www.dallagliofoundation.com.
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