Rugby Hero Launches Project to Help Children Tackle Numbers

By Mbna Europe Bank Ltd, PRNE
Thursday, November 4, 2010

CHESTER, England, November 5, 2010 - Saracens captain and England rugby star Steve Borthwick, one of the
sport's best known figures, has launched Tackling Numbers in association with
MBNA, a ground-breaking campaign teaching basic mathematics to thousands of
schoolchildren in England.

Rugby star Borthwick joined Europe's largest credit card lender MBNA and
Premiership Rugby to begin the national roll out of the project, which uses
the power of rugby to promote the understanding and learning of numeracy
among seven to nine year olds.

Yesterday Steve joined pupils at Roe Green Junior School in Wembley,
London to help teachers deliver a maths lesson with a difference.

Steve Borthwick, Saracens captain and England rugby star, said: "Rugby is
a fantastic way of getting young people engaged with maths and numeracy. It
is great fun and a brilliant way of tying the classroom to the sports pitch.
Maths and basic financial literacy are so important and 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 launch event marked the beginning of the Tackling Numbers campaign,
delivered by Chester-based MBNA, Premiership Rugby and all Premiership
Rugby's 12 clubs. It is anticipated to reach more than 800 primary schools in
England over the next three years.

Launching the scheme, Steve not only demonstrated his teaching skills but
he was also able to offer some valuable rugby playing tips to the youngsters.

Ian O'Doherty, Europe Card executive for Bank of America Europe Card
Services, which operates the MBNA brand, said: "We are delighted that Steve
, a hero for many young rugby fans across the country, is supporting
the launch of 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
financial literacy in adulthood and a memorable experience which will last
them a lifetime."

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

Sarah Mason, AST Mathematics (BSC HONS PGCE), who helped MBNA and
Premiership Rugby develop the programme, said: "Being numerate is, beyond
doubt, an essential skill for all pupils to leave school with.

"We ensure that pupils are given the passion and encouragement to
continue to improve their mathematics at an early age; this can be achieved
by creating more exciting and accessible ways of learning.

"Mathematics is used daily in all walks of life and rugby union is a
fantastic medium to show pupils how important and fun it can be."

Wayne Morris, Head of Community at Premiership Rugby added: "Rugby has
long been seen as a social game that unites and brings people together. In
more recent years rugby's ability to engage with children is being used to
transcend into the classroom.

"The Tackling Numbers Programme utilises the power of rugby to promote
the understanding and learning of numeracy in a fun and enjoyable way. The
classroom sessions are supported by practical PE sessions that unite an
active mind with an active body."

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.

The work will count as a contribution towards the five hour offering of
high quality PE and sport.

MBNA, a Bank of America company, has funded Tackling Numbers through its
Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

About MBNA

Chester-based MBNA is a Bank of America company and is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC). MBNA supports a range
of initiatives that are helping children to improve their numeracy, teenagers
to understand the way finance works and adults to receive the support they
need to help them improve their financial situation. For more information,
visit the company's website

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy

Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it
serves, last year Bank of America embarked on a ten-year goal to donate US$2
to non-profit organisations engaged in improving the health and
vitality of their neighbourhoods. The company's associate volunteers
contributed more than 800,000 hours in 2009 to enhance the quality of life in
their communities world-wide. For more information about Bank of America
Corporate Philanthropy, please visit

Note to Editors:

A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA
Photowire. It can be downloaded from <>
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Gary Jenkins, Vice President, Communications; Bank of America Europe Card Services;
Tel: +44(0)1244-574136; Mobile: +44(0)7825-721118; Fax: +44(0)1244-672468 Email: gary.jenkins at

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