The rugby academy founded by an Angus sports charity has scored a success in its first season.
The academy, run by The Strathmore Rugby Club Community Trust at Strathmore RFC’s ground in Forfar, has run free sessions for male and female S1-S6 pupils 2-4pm on Friday afternoons during the school term since last August with an average of 30 children from the Forfar, Kirriemuir and Brechin areas taking part.
The objective of the rugby academy is not just to develop their playing skills but also to provide them with the tactical and conditioning knowledge to successfully transition into adult rugby as well as develop them as individuals.
In addition to standard rugby union training, they’ve received coaching in rugby league from Scotland Rugby League’s Development Officer, Carrie-ann Downs, taster sessions on yoga and cricket as well as advice from a nutritionist, a life coach and physiotherapists. They’ve also taken part in video analysis and strength & conditioning training sessions and enjoyed tasters on coaching, refereeing and first aid with an opportunity to earn certificates.
The trust is now looking to build on the success of the first year by increasing participation in the second season, starting next school term, to at least an average of 40 and double the number of girls taking part from this season’s five to at least 10.
The trust was founded last year to increase public participation in sport, particularly rugby union and rugby league, in the Forfar, Kirriemuir and Brechin areas to benefit community health and wellbeing as well as develop young people into healthy, positive members of the community through the positive ethos and values of rugby.
It’s based at Strathmore Rugby Club in Forfar and works in partnership with Strathmore RFC, Brechin RFC, the Scottish Rugby Union and the Scotland Rugby League. Its vision is that by June 2019 it will
have created a sustainable programme of projects centred on rugby, health and the community. Last month it appointed a full-time Community Project Co-ordinator to fund, develop and run its projects.
Speaking about the first season of Rugby Academy, Stuart Gray, Chair of the trust’s Board of Trustees, said: “I’m delighted this first season has been such a success. We’re greatly looking forward to starting the second season next month and would urge any youngsters interested in taking part, or their relatives, to get in touch to express their interest.”