Project 500 – a unique social inclusion initiative from Coventry Rugby

Project 500

Coventry Rugby has today unveiled Project:500, a groundbreaking initiative that will use rugby to bring positivity and hope to the many children in the city who are living below the poverty line.

An estimated 16,000 children in the city of Coventry currently live below the poverty line. For them a day at the rugby, or the opportunity to play a new sport, or simply make new friends outside their immediate family or neighbourhood, may very well be a struggle.

Furthermore, a child in poverty is more likely to have poor physical and mental health; a low sense of well-being; to underachieve at school; experience social deprivation, stigma and bullying; and have employment difficulties in adult life.

Project:500 is aiming to alleviate such problems by combining the core values of rugby union and the legendary community spirit which has united the people of Coventry for many years.

There are two parts to the project:

Part 1 Each child is gifted a place at a specially designed rugby camp to engage and inspire him or her. The camp will give the child the opportunity to learn about subjects such as nutrition, exercise and wellness. They will also take part in rugby training sessions with members of the Coventry first team

Part 2 Each child will be enrolled into the Cov Juniors Club and be given their own Coventry Rugby replica shirt. They will also be gifted a special Season Pass, giving the parent/guardian and child the opportunity to bond at every home game at the Butts Park Arena for the 2019/20 season

Project:500’s initial target is to have 500 children as part of the initiative in its first year and Coventry Rugby Chairman Jon Sharp says that he is looking forward to it becoming a significant part of the club’s community programme.

“Rugby is renowned for its ability to inspire and engage children and young people, and we’re delighted to be launching Project:500,” he said.

“A life in poverty can be devastating for a child, both in how they are living now and also in limiting their prospects for the future, and Project:500 is about giving them the inspiration they need.

“We want Coventry Rugby to be a club at the heart of our city, and Project:500 does exactly that. To the best of our knowledge no other club is running an initiative like this, so I’m proud that we are leading the way.

“The response we have had in discussions with potential donors has already been extremely positive and places have been granted already. Although our target is 500 children there is no upper limit, and hopefully our city’s people and businesses will get behind this project, following the example set by some of our important partners.”

Each place on Project:500 costs £350. Coventry Rugby is subsiding 40 percent of the costs, but the club is seeking individuals or companies who are willing to cover the remaining 60 percent, equivalent to £200.

A number of Coventry Rugby’s key partners have already pledged their support, including Band Hatton Button, Askews, Robinson Manufacturing Ltd and Coventry Scale.

To thank them for their support each donor will have their name on a dedicated wall at the Butts Park Arena and on the Coventry Rugby website. Companies or individuals who donate five or more places will also receive two tickets to the 2019/20 End of Season Dinner, and companies or individuals who donate 10 or more places will receive tickets to the opening match of the season.

The club will be working with Coventry’s schools and relevant local stakeholders to identify children and families who would benefit from being part of Project:500 over the course of the summer and then going forward.

To find out more contact Toby Costar via

Coventry Rugby strengthens relationship with Supporters’ Club with Under – 18 team shirt partnership

U18 - Sponsorship

Coventry Rugby is deepening its relationship with the Coventry Rugby Supporters Club with a new partnership.

The Supporters Club has agreed to be the main shirt sponsor of the club’s Under-18 team, thereby helping some of the city’s best up-and-coming rugby players.

Coventry Rugby is committed to making its Under-18 team a central part of its development pathway so that ultimately the first team squad is dominated by local players representing their local professional club.

According to Club Secretary, Quentin Melhuish, the Supporters Club have recognised this ambition, which is why they have agreed to the new partnership for at least the 2019/20 season.

“Jon Sharp, Nick Johnston and Rowland Winter have all been clear that their ambition is to make Coventry Rugby the club at the heart of the city,” he said. “Having local players play for the first team is a big part of that, but obviously this is a long-term project in which the Under-18 team plays an important role.

“This is why we’ve decided to partner with the club in this way, and we’re looking forward to seeing the team develop over the next season. Hopefully we can encourage as many supporters to come and get behind the lads for their games as well!”

Paul Ingleston, Coventry Rugby Supporters Club Chairman, added: “Coventry Rugby Supporters Club are delighted to be supporting the Under-18s.

“The opportunity to help the city’s young players develop their rugby playing skills was too good to miss, with obviously the chance to see them become first XV squad members a big draw for our partnership.

“I, for one, will attempt to support the Under-18s every time they pull on a CRSC easily identifiable branded shirt. It marks a major milestone in the re-birth of Coventry Rugby Supporters Club.”

Managing Director Nick Johnston thanked the Supporters Club for their backing of the Under-18s.

“It is a big decision to commit funds to partner with a team, and we appreciate the commitment that the Supporters Club have shown in getting behind the Under-18s in this way,” he said.

“We’ve got some of the most dedicated and fervent supporters in the Championship, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we were challenging for the highest average attendance next season. They have helped make Butts Park Arena an intimidating place for opposition teams to come, and their support makes a big difference on match days.

“We’re delighted that they have also recognised what we are trying to achieve, especially in making the Under-18s a key part of our development pathway to having as many local players as possible in our first team squad in the future.

“On behalf of the club I’d like to thank them for their faith in us and I’m looking forward to seeing them at all of our first team, development and Under-18 matches next season!”

To join the Coventry Rugby Supporters Club head to or email

New Crest for Coventry Rugby

Coventry-Rugby Crest 1874

Coventry Rugby has today unveiled the club’s new crest for the 2019/20 season and onwards.

The new crest honours the long legacy and connections that the club has had with the city of Coventry for over 140 years.

At the same time it brings a modern interpretation of this heritage, re-incorporating the city’s traditional colours of red and green into the background and introducing a phoenix motif to represent the recent promotion and ambition to  continue rising up the ladder of English club rugby.

“The new crest is part of the next step in our journey as a club,” says Coventry Rugby Chairman Jon Sharp.

“We are looking to continue our progression in all areas on and off the field, with more structure in the administration and more investment into the playing and coaching group as we build for the future.

“We’re also proud of our history and view this new crest as being an evolution which takes us closer to our heritage while also setting a marker for the future.”

The new crest was designed by Paul Carnall of Flygun Creative. It is a project that is close to his heart, as his father, Peter, wore the Coventry hoops when the club led the way within English rugby.


“I am extremely proud and honoured for my company Flygun Creative to have delivered the new crest for Coventry Rugby,” Carnall commented.

“The opportunity to work with the club is something that is very close to my heart, not just because of me being born in Coventry but also from a personal perspective as my father played for the club between 1964 and 68, a time when they were considered one of the best teams in the British Isles, something he is immensely proud of.

“Coventry Rugby is a family club steeped in history and it has meant so much to me to have been involved in this project. We’re all looking forward to seeing the crest rolled out and Flygun playing our part in the next exciting chapter of this great club.”

Double Signing for Coventry Rugby

Coventry Rugby has today announced a double-signing from Yorkshire Carnegie, Andy Forsyth and Joe Buckle.

End of Season Fans’ Forum

Coventry Supporters’ Player of the Season – 2018/19

Supporters’ Player of the Season Award 2017/18

On Friday, May 3rd, the end of season Awards’ Evening will be held at BPA.

As part of these awards all supporters are invited to vote for their Player of the Season.

The player who receives the most votes will be presented with The Blenkinsopp Trophy in recognition of their achievement which they will be able to keep for the next 12 months.

You can vote on the poll below, which lists every player who has represented Coventry Rugby this season.

The poll will close at midnight on Monday April 29th.

For those supporters with no internet access,  ballot slips will be available from the Coventry Rugby Supporters’ Club stand in the Jon Sharp Suite, formerly known as the Arena Bar, at the last home game of the season. The Stand will be open between 12.15pm – 2.30pm.

You can only vote once and only for one player, so please give your vote careful thought.

Jersey – Away (April 27th)

The last game of the season is away at Jersey Reds on Saturday, April 27th. The Supporters’ Club have been in contact with Jersey and have confirmed that on the Friday night before the game Jersey will host Coventry Rugby supporters between 5.30pm – 7.30pm. This event is open to all Coventry supporters.
It’s a good chance to meet some ‘native’ supporters, engage in some pre-match banter and have a ‘recce’ of the ground.  The ‘Jersey Pride’ ale will be tapped and Sean Dunne the Club Manager will be providing free nibbles.
Initially the event was to be held in the Barclays Pavillion Bar at Jersey Rugby Club, but due to the anticipated number of Coventry supporters travelling it will now be held in a large Marquee in the car park.
If you are travelling to Jersey, please come along on the Friday evening. All are very welcome.
The Supporters’ Club would like to take this opportunity to thank Jersey Rugby for their hospitality.

Phil Nilsen and Sam Tuitupou Retirement Dinner

Everyone at Coventry Rugby Club was sad to hear that Phil Nilsen & Sam Tuitupou will be retiring at the end of the season. To give them the send off that they deserve, Coventry Rugby has organised a Retirement Dinner on Thursday 18th April. To celebrate their accomplishments and there many years at the club we would love all our fans are to attend as we wish these to veterans a final goodbye.

There will be a 3 Course Dinner including a traditional Tongan Umu & Lancashire favourites, Live Auction, MC by returning Coventry Rugby Legend Brett Daynes and a Live DJ until late.
£45pp or £450 for a table of 10
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Location: Coventry Rugby Club, Butts Park Arena, Butts Road, CV1 3GE
To book: Telephone 02476 231 001 or Email:

Pirates Sunk


By Nick Meredith
January 20th  2019

Well, in the end it was a win, and, come the end of the season that is all that will have mattered.

It was enough to keep Coventry at the head of the lower half of the Championship table, and it was a victory against a team that beat us comfortably in the first weeks of the season. In a first season back in the Championship, that is a good result, but it is clearly one that has left many supporters dissatisfied.


Cornish Pirate were not a great team yesterday. Their ‘gamesmanship’ overstepped the mark repeatedly and by half time had put them eight points to the better.

The irony that Scott Tolmie’s two tries came from period when they were a player down in the second half – and were very lucky not to have a player red-carded for arguing and refusing to leave the field when yellow carded – at least reflected that although the officials appeared weak, in the end they took action against repeated serious infringements.


The match was played on a soft slippery pitch; probably as much caused by the overnight rain which continued as drizzle during the match as by the rugby league match on Friday evening. The ball was slippery, and the breeze uneven.


Both teams adopted similar game plans – and neither were entertaining to watch. For most of the first half, Pirates were on top. In those conditions it was not surprising that the half was dominated by penalties, with both sides’ kickers performing well.


The end of the half saw a Pirates penalty, with an immediate and effective counter-attack by Coventry failing a metre short when it appeared that a Coventry maul which had split into two pods was flagged as being in touch, when the ball carrier was still in play and in the other pod.


The second half was little less enjoyable to watch, although the pressure from Coventry gradually increased, and eventually began to tell, with Pirates losing discipline, and being penalised for it. Two yellow cards resulted in periods where Coventry could increase the pressure, and both times ended up with replacement Scott Tolmie scoring from close-in.


As Tony Fenner prepared to make his final kick, a shout of “Go Go Go!” from the Cornish team saw an early charge to attempt to charge down his kick, but from a few metres in from touch he slotted it neatly, the roar of the stand confirming it was over long before the touch judges agreed.



Tries: Tolmie (2)

Conversion: Fenner

Penalties: Maisey (2)

Sponsor’s Man of the Match: Will Maisey

Highlights (Official Coventry Rugby): Here

Report (Official Coventry Rugby): Here

Attendance: 2,273

Words and Pictures: Nick Meredith

Pirates Sunk – Courtesy & kind permission of