Rugby coach swaps Leigh for an Olympic dream in Brazil

Richard Phillips (centre) is passing his rugby union knowledge on to kids in Brazil

Richard Phillips (centre) is passing his rugby union knowledge on to kids in Brazil

First published in News
Last updated

A RUGBY coach is living the dream and creating an Olympic-sized legacy in one of the World’s most vibrant countries.

Richard Phillips left Leigh a year and a half ago for the bright sunshine and beautiful beaches of Brazil and to make it even better he gets to teach the sport he loves to children and disadvantaged people.

The 24-year-old coach is part of a project that aims to develop and raise the profile of rugby union in the run up to the Olympics in 2016.

“The project is fantastic. Not only can I coach the sport that I love but I also get to experience a new culture, learn a new language and live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world,” he said.

“It’s very exciting because rugby is not very popular here so to introduce a new sport to the people of Brazil is great. The children absolutely love rugby and their natural athletic talent ensures they grasp the skills required very fast indeed.

“There are many things which make it difficult out here, teaching in Portuguese and adapting to a very different culture but these things are what makes it such a fantastic experience.”

Richard, formerly of Holborn Avenue, Leigh, began playing for Leigh Rugby Union Football Club when he was six.

He joined the Try Rugby SB project - the result of a partnership between the Aviva Premiership, the British Council and SESI - and moved Rio Claro and then Taubaté in both in São Paulo state.

Rugby will be included in the Olympics for the first time in 2016 so the project aims to engage with children and young people to deliver health, education and social outcomes whilst promoting the growth of rugby union.

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