A sporting charity

Right To Play (RTP) is one of the largest children’s charities in the world. Its mission is to improve children’s lives in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport. The charity as a whole was founded as part of the Albertville Winter Olympics in 1992, originally called Olympic Aid, but Oxford’s Right To Play (ORTP) was set up at the end of Trinity 2009 with the aim of raising funds and awareness for RTP within the University. It has since grown to become an official university student society.

RTP trains local community leaders as coaches to use sport and play as learning tools in four specific areas: RTP’s sport and play programmes foster child development and teach important values and life skills; the programmes are used to educate and mobilise communities around health and disease issues, such as HIV, malaria and the importance of immunisation; conflict resolution and reintegration is managed by participation of divided communities and, finally, infrastructure is developed in partnership with local organisations.

So far ORTP have organised the Night To Play mass crew date, and another is planned for next term. This term Right To Play are also working with another Oxford student society, Running Across Borders, to organise a fun run/sports day aimed at schoolchildren from across Oxfordshire. Furthermore, in 8th week, ORTP will be supporting the OU Cross Country Club’s annual Teddy Hall Relays. With the relay changeovers taking place on the historic Roger Bannister Track at Iffley road (home of the first sub-four minute mile), and along a scenic 3.6 mile course that winds though Christ Church meadows and down the river.

‘RTP’s programmes teach important values and life skills’

Teddy Hall Relays is an event going from strength to strength every year. Last year there were over one thousand competitors representing universities nationwide as well as teams from university and college sports clubs, boat clubs, university departments and simply college friends. Whilst competition at the front is always fierce, for many years the Teddy Hall Relay has been a race that can be enjoyed by all.

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The 2010 race takes place on Wednesday of 8th week and RTP will be assisting in the organisation by providing marshals and helpers on the day. RTP teams from Oxford and other RTP groups across the country will also be battling it out on the course. Supporting the Teddy Hall Relays, especially by volunteering to be a RTP marshal for a couple of hours is a simple way to help out the charity and contribute to a great cause (while you can still compete).

If you want to get involved with a charity during your time at Oxford, and are passionate about sport, Right To Play is well worth a look. All the members of the committee are RTP ‘student ambassadors’ and receive plenty of support from RTP UK’s university partnership team. Alternatively, nominate Right to Play to receive RAG funds from your college.