Build Belonging Project

November 04, 2022


Build Belonging Project

November 2nd, 2022.

(WHITBY, ON) - In Summer 2022, Rugby Ontario was awarded an Ontario Trillium Foundation - Resilient Communities Fund grant to reflect on and reimagine our systems for recruitment, retention, and program delivery with the goal of making rugby more welcoming, inclusive, and representative of our diverse communities. Specifically, the goal of the Build Belonging Project is to increase rugby participation amongst underrepresented and equity-deserving groups in Ontario through a community-driven approach to

enhancing inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility practices (IDEA) across the organization and throughout rugby clubs across the province.

The key project objectives are as follows:

1. Provide IDEA training and education to Rugby Ontario (RO) board members, employees, and club-nominated leaders (Phase 1)

2. Explore barriers to participation and retention among underrepresented groups and communities served by RO clubs (Phase 1)

3. Adapt or create rugby programming and recruitment practices to better meet the needs of communities (Phase 2)

4. Adapt operational policies and governance practices to eliminate barriers to participation and instill inclusive practices in our rugby community (phase 2)

5. Develop a “Rugby for All” marketing strategy, complete with ‘how-to’ guides/toolkits to support sustainable implementation of club-led community-based interventions (Phase 2/3)

6. Evaluate the utility of training and working groups in adapting RO practices and enhancing overall IDEA (Phase 3)

The project is taking place over the course of a year and will be broken into four main phases beginning with a preparation phase, which we are currently in. As part of the preparation phase we are looking to select up to 8 clubs to have nominated members participate in IDEA training, think tanks, and working groups to support the adaptation or creation of rugby programming and recruitment practices in their communities. In addition to this, these clubs will be ambassadors for change and help to share their learnings with others who wish to do the same. The intent of club to club collaboration is to ensure a lasting legacy of the Build Belonging Project, and to aid in our pursuit of achieving our vision of Rugby for All. 

If your club is interested in participating in this project, contact your club executives or Board of Directors for more information. The deadline to apply is Thursday, November 10th at 11:59pm.

Please direct any questions about the Build Belonging Project to Project Manager, Meghan Harlow, at


Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to lead, support and promote Rugby for All from communities to clubs to province. This mission signals a movement toward creating a more cohesive, supportive and progressive sporting environment that is responsive to the needs of all members.

To learn more, visit


Dalton Finkbeiner

Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario

    647-560-4790 x 1006


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