Champion: Don James Jr.

The Memphis Inner City Rugby project has gained international acclaim for the quality of the its work with children. The children come from some of the harshest backgrounds in a city where child poverty is 45% (well over double the USA national average).

80% of children in the programme cannot afford $3 for lunch. This programme uses rugby to turn around their futures, with 100% now graduating from college and assured of an academic and athletic future, with the binding support structure that is so uniquely rugby.

Atlas has pledged a three year core grant to give critical funding relief to the exceptional volunteer leadership team. It has raised two years worth already from the US rugby community and has permanent US 510c3 platform to allow tax breaks for US donors.

Since the start of the funding, the Memphis programme has seen huge effects on its children. 100% of the children that left the project this year went on to college to complete degrees with scholarships. All participants say that they definitely feel resilient and all want to strive to avoid getting sucked into the poverty stricken area.