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Marland Yarde kicks off Clifford Chance Rugby Academy

1 April 2015

Marland Yarde kicks off Clifford Chance Rugby Academy

International law firm Clifford Chance has partnered with Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation to launch the Clifford Chance Rugby Academy. The launch was hosted by Marland Yarde at an event held in the borough at Olga Primary School.

England and Harlequins international player Marland Yarde, an ambassador for the programme, joined Clifford Chance employees and a number of the firm's community partners to launch the Clifford Chance Rugby Academy. The initiative will see more than 30 Clifford Chance volunteers run weekly coaching sessions in 10 different schools in Bethnal Green, Bow and Mile End.

The sessions are attended by boys and girls between the ages of eight and ten. They learn the non-contact 'tag' version of the game, building their skills towards a competitive tournament on 30 June 2015 for all ten schools. Following the tournament, the 30 most talented and enthusiastic children from across the schools will be offered a place on Millwall Rugby Club summer rugby camps, with the top three graduating onto Blackheath Rugby Club’s junior training programme.

Clifford Chance has extensive experience in the sports sector. It has been appointed as the Official Law Firm of Rugby World Cup 2015, providing legal services for the tournament. The firm's experience working in the rugby sector includes advising the World Rugby and Rugby World Cup League for a number of years and previously advising on the Rugby World Cup in 2007.

Stephen Surgeoner , Litigation Partner and Clifford Chance Rugby Academy  volunteer, comments: 'The Clifford Chance Rugby Academy is an exciting program for us. It shares the values of the sport itself, and those that we uphold as a firm such as leadership, team-work and motivation. Every employee at Clifford Chance can be inspired by rugby, its players and the competition - we want to use our position to give the children of Tower Hamlets the same opportunity.'

Marlon Yarde comments: ‘It’s been a brilliant day here at Olga Primary School to launch the Clifford Chance Rugby Academy with the Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation. It is clear to see that the children are trying to embrace the sport and I think we may have unearthed a few stars of the future!'

The Clifford Chance Rugby Academy sits within a wider long-standing commitment to supporting the firm's local community. Clifford Chance has partnerships with many of the schools in Tower Hamlets, working with some of them for over 20 years.