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News

Martin Johnson welcomes new partnership

Martin Johnson, Benn and Max Smith
Martin Johnson, Benn and Max Smith

The club is delighted to announce a new sponsorship and community partnership designed to support young players across South East England . It was launched at the club’s London City lunch where guest speaker Martin Johnson, captain of England’s World Cup winning team in 2003, was among the first to welcome the initiative. The sponsorship is provided by BRS Education, an education consultation and tuition company founded by one of the club’s former players. The founder, Benn Smith, was a product of the club’s youth side who played for the first team between 2001 – 2014. Benn is now a Headmaster and founded BRS Education to support and guide families through the education system from primary to university, and also provides tuition to children who have struggled to access education through the lock down period. BRS Education believe passionately in ‘Developing Confidence and Individual Talents’ of all children both academically and on the sports field. During this post-pandemic period, BRS Education recognises the importance that taking part in rugby can have in developing the mental wellbeing of all those who take part.

In addition to the sponsorship of Canterbury’s mini and junior sections, BRS Education will work collaboratively with the Canterbury club to form its own Junior Athlete Academy, which will provide an academic and enhanced coaching programme to develop future first team players. Alongside this, the club will be investing in community coaches to support local primary and secondary schools to further develop rugby in the community.

This new approach further demonstrates the commitment Canterbury RFC have for a ‘one club’ mentality with a vision to be at the heart of the local and wider Kent community. ‘Canterbury Rugby Club provided me with a starting point for my playing and academic career, being my local club as I studied at University, ” said Benn.  “They not only provided me with the camaraderie through playing but also supported my leadership credentials both on and off the pitch, shaping my career to what it is today. I am delighted through BRS Education to be able to do my part to give back to the local community and support those young players and families as they begin their education and playing journey. My thanks go to the club and the spectators who enabled me to develop my confidence and develop my individual talents.”

Welcoming the new partnership Canterbury chairman Giles Hilton said: “This is a major boost for both rugby and education opportunities in the area and underlines our commitment to being an integral part of the community”