Inspiring commitment off the field and inclusivity on it

It’s one thing to help children take action and inspire confidence, it’s another thing to see them inspire leadership and action within themselves. 

The community at Ocean View High School is challenged by high crime rates and involvement, pushing children and teenagers into gangs and limiting the possibilities around them for thriving. The rugby programme at Ocean View High School was established by Atlas as a means to mentor the teenagers with their behaviour and keep them out of trouble by offering opportunities away from the gangs.  

While the programme is established and supported by Atlas, the teenagers at Ocean View have taken ownership of harnessing their potential from it; the teenagers regularly meet for practice outside of school term and keep their playing field neat, as well as support and encourage each other to attend and improve. Throughout their time, the teenagers have taken a strong pride in their team, saying they feel a dignity in their life when they play that they wouldn’t have had if they had been in the gangs. 

Although a girl's team is still developing at Ocean View, it hasn’t stopped them from joining in! The boys are welcome and inclusive, encouraging their classmates to come to their sessions and train all together. Without the programme instilled by Atlas, many of these teenagers would be without guidance or support, putting their time into gangs and heading down many of the wrong paths, instead these boys and girls are maturing into young adults who hold the values of respect, dignity, and inclusivity.