Adeboyin and rugby World Cup winner Dallaglio are Powerful Together

Adeboyin Sonibare (left) was among a group of youngsters who brushed up on their canoeing and rugby

Adeboyin Sonibare (left) was among a group of youngsters who brushed up on their canoeing and rugby skills with World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio - Credit: Archant

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Ilford youngster

DUKE of Edinburgh’s Award holder Adedoyin Sonibare experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when she joined Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio for a canoeing lesson along London’s Regent’s Canal.

The DofE Award, a youth development charity, has teamed up with the Dallaglio Foundation for a new initiative called ‘Powerful Together’ which will allow rugby clubs across the country to apply for funding to set themselves up as DofE Centres of Excellence from September 2013.

And for 19-year-old IBM placement student Sonibare of Ilford, the chance to practise her canoeing and rugby skills with Dallaglio instantly became one of her most memorable DofE experiences.

“I have never played rugby before so it was a privilege to learn from Dellaglio and he is a really lovely person who is so supportive of young people,” Sonibare said.

“I started my DofE award when I was 15 because as I live in London I do not get the opportunity to experience the outdoors so it was a good challenge for me to learn how to adapt to different environments.

“I would definitely recommend the award as you meet new people, get to try new things, encourages a healthy lifestyle and sets you up with skills for life.”

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Former England captain Dallaglio hopes that his foundation joining forces with the DofE will ensure more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get to experience playing rugby.

“The award is widely recognised as the best non-educational award outside of A-levels as it gives young people from the age of 14 into their early 20s the opportunity to add skills and build on their self-belief,” he said.

“To be able to expose this to as many people in the rugby community as possible will have great benefits.

“The values that sit around rugby such as integrity and honesty are lessons for life and being part of a team definitely gives you a different set of skills.

“I wanted to help young people as I had an excellent support system around me when I was younger but I know that other young people don’t, which is why I think we have an obligation to give them an opportunity to advance.

“I know that the fit between the DofE and rugby clubs through the Dallaglio Foundation is going to be fantastic.”

? Powerful Together uses the rugby community to enable more young people to complete their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, for more information

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