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Rugby ace Steve Borthwick kicks off maths project

MBNA Tackling Numbers scheme to boost numeracy

MBNA Tackling Numbers logo

Saracens captain and England rugby star Steve Borthwick will today help credit card provider MBNA launch its new ‘Tackling Numbers’ project to boost the numeracy skills of thousands of English schoolchildren.

The MBNA Tackling Numbers campaign aims to teach basic mathematics skills to thousands of schoolchildren in England, using rugby to promote the understanding and learning of numeracy among seven to nine year olds.

Speaking prior to the launch of the project at Roe Green Junior School in Wembley, Borthwick said: ‘Rugby is a fantastic way of getting young people engaged with maths and numeracy. It’s great fun and a brilliant way of tying the classroom to the sports pitch. Maths and basic financial literacy are so important and MBNA Tackling Numbers helps bring them to life. I just wish my maths classes had taken place on the rugby pitch when I was at school.’

The Tackling Numbers campaign is backed by all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs and is anticipated to reach more than 800 primary schools in England over the next three years.

Strong foundation for numeracy skills in adulthood

Ian O’Doherty, of Bank of America Europe Card Services, which operates the MBNA brand, said: ‘We are delighted that Steve Borthwick, a hero for many young rugby fans across the country, is supporting our launch of MBNA Tackling Numbers.

‘We must equip young people with the knowledge and tools to help them manage their money in the future – and how better to do that than to engage them in mathematics in a practical and enjoyable way, with some of the stars of English rugby. We hope this programme provides the foundation for good numeracy skills in adulthood and a memorable experience which will last them a lifetime.’

Fun number-based games to tackle maths problems

The five-week programme, aimed at Year 4 pupils, uses both interactive classroom sessions and practical and fun number-based rugby games to help children tackle mathematic problems.

The key aims of the project are to improve young people’s understanding of the importance of basic financial and numeracy skills, while increasing physical exercise and activity amongst young people.

Martyn Saville, Which? credit card expert, commented: ‘This is a great way to get pupils actively involved in maths from an early age. Any scheme that boosts mathematical skills, and in the longer term financial literacy in particular, is to be welcomed. The Tackling Numbers project looks like an ideal mix of fun, exercise and education.’

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