3 Pillars Project were visited in HMP Wandsworth by Battersea Ironsides Rugby Club this week to play and train alongside inmates taking part in the 3 Pillars Project Rugby Academy. 3 Pillars Project is a Community Interest Company that uses excellence in sport and military leadership to unlock potential and build communities.
The project has been founded by former Army Officer and Ironsides scrum half, Mike Crofts. Mike, who also coaches the Ironsides U17s side, founded the project in an effort to improve rehabilitation provision and increase understanding and integration between prisons and the local community.
Ironsides were welcome guests at the prison on a warm Thursday afternoon. Facing off against 13 inmates who have been learning to play rugby over the past seven weeks, the Ironsides team were impressed by the speed with which their opposition had mastered the fundamentals of the game. The two sides initially played a round of touch rugby matches and progressed into some training exercises. This was extremely well received and enjoyed by both the hosts and guests.
Amazingly, against seasoned opposition, the 3PP team beat Ironsides in two touch rugby matches, playing against a very determined opposition. The day was completed with a short but brutal game of contact on the prison's small 4G artificial pitch; played in extremely good spirit!
The day was another example of the fantastic role that the project has in integrating members of the community with those serving time in prison. Battersea Ironsides have a big role in the local community, and were keen to support a local up and coming community effort to aid inmate rehabilitation. Particular thanks go to Tim Homewood, 2nd XV Captain, who expressed a warm invitation to participants on the course to join the Ironsides after their release.
More details on Ironsides Rugby and the game can be found here: http://ironsidesrugby.com/carousel_news.asp?id=50