We are delighted to announce that our walking rugby project for adults has resumed – but now it’s helping locals tackle Lockdown lard and isolation as well as helping build Covid resilience and recovery.
Our walking rugby sessions began at Strathmore RFC’s ground in Forfar in August 2018. They were designed to allow anyone who no longer feels able to play the regular game but wants to get or stay active to do so through touch rugby – the non-contact, fun, social form of the game.
The free hour-long sessions on Mondays at 6.30pm and Fridays at 9.30am allow participants to meet others with a similar interest and take part in a non-contact version of the game. The sessions have attracted new players as well as former Club players, not only creating friendships but reigniting old ones for chat about the game and the recent Six Nations Championship.
The moderate physical exercise is also ideal to help adults shed any Lockdown pounds they’ve gained over the past year as well as help them reduce their risk of severe illness if they catch Covid – by boosting lung fitness – and help those who have caught it recover.
No kit needed
The sessions resumed last Friday morning (2 April) and Monday night this week. Sports kit is optional, but participants are encouraged to at least wear comfortable clothing suitable for walking plus appropriate waterproofs or warm clothes as required depending on the forecast for each session.
The Trust’s Community Trust Manager, Maggie Lawrie, explains: “This project has helped ensure we provide opportunities for people of all ages and ability to be more active and therefore improve their health and wellbeing, so everyone is welcome!
“The social aspect is as important as the rugby element. Rugby is a sport built on values and friendships are established and retained for life. I know from our regulars they’ve been on tenterhooks waiting to hear when the Covid unlocking timetable would allow them to meet and play together again”
Walking Rugby participant Willie Gray said: “It’s great to be out the house again and be able to do something. We can get back to some exercise and a bit of normality, so it’s great the trust has been able to restart the sessions.”
Anyone interested in taking part is asked to get in touch with Maggie via the Contact page on the Trust’s website – https://www.strathmoretrust.co.uk/contact/.
For more details, go to https://www.strathmoretrust.co.uk/project/walking-rugby/.
Other project restart dates
The Trusts other projects are planned to go ahead in the coming weeks too. The Stracathro Estates Rugby Academy is set to restart on April 23 and the award-winning Autism-Friendly Rugby sessions for primary pupils resumes its in-person version on April 30.
Appeal for donations
Because our normal fundraising activities have been severely limited by Covid restrictions, the trust is asking people and organisations to provide monthly donations to support our full range of community wellbeing work, which includes rugby and life skills for secondary pupils, walking rugby for people unable to run and unified rugby to include people with disabilities. Details of how to donate can be found on the trust website at https://www.strathmoretrust.co.uk/donate/.
Strathmore Community Rugby Trust are running a lottery to help raise vital funds to support our community projects. For the price of two fish suppers, you can make a difference to someone’s life! Not only that, you have the chance to win your money back and more!
How it will work:
Each ticket is £12 and gets you entry for the full year (the equivalent of £1 per month!)
The lottery will be drawn every month between July 2021 and June 2022. Each month, there will be 3 prizes of £20. In the final month of the draw (June 2022), to coincide with the Trust’s 5th birthday, there will be an additional prize of £250.
There are a maximum of 500 tickets so the odds of winning each month are not bad!! All players will be allocated a number for the duration of the draw. Results from the draw each month will be posted on the Trust’s social media pages and the winning numbers will be contacted.
Entries close on 30th June 2021.
How to Get Involved:
To purchase your ticket click here and complete the registration form.
Remember, you have to be in it to win it!!
Angus Council Lottery Licence No: 482, Strathmore Community Rugby Trust, Inchmaboble, DD8 1RL
Angus primary pupils are continuing to benefit from the Trust’s award-winning Autism-Friendly Rugby sessions thanks to Zoom and kit bought with Scottish Government grant funding.
Strathmore Community Rugby Trust began its free twice-weekly sessions for Angus Primary 1-7 pupils in 2019. They’re designed to create a positive learning environment for children with or undergoing diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their siblings to have fun while developing confidence and social skills as well as general physical literacy and sporting skills. They also provide respite and social contact for parents and carers.
The sessions, which won the award for Pioneering Project at last year’s Scottish Charity Awards, involve activities including a ‘Rugby Ready’ warm-up – fun tag/touch-based rugby games plus sensory activities including proprioceptive input – to create sensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that underlie body awareness – obtained by lifting, pushing and pulling heavy objects, including your own weight.
When Scotland was first put into lockdown last year the sessions had to stop. However, soon after, Trust Community Project Co-ordinator Maggie Lawrie spotted that Scottish Government funding to help communities recover was being made available via Foundation Scotland’s Response, Recovery, Resilience Fund. The Trust applied for money to buy kit which would enable the sessions to resume remotely.
Thanks to a grant of £1,944 from the fund, the Trust was able to buy the children who normally take part in the sessions a full-size and mini rugby ball, tennis ball, hurdles, cones, a ball pump and a box as well as a Trust-branded water bottle and T-shirt – to help them to feel part of a team.
Then, just as the Trust planned to start delivering the sessions via Zoom at the end of July, a change in social distancing guidelines for Under-12s enabled it to instead resume the face-to-face sessions. However, because the Trust was aware tighter Covid restrictions were likely to return later in the year, it sent the remote sessions kit out to the children’s families.
Once we went back into Lockdown after Christmas, the plan to deliver the sessions remotely was dusted off and, since January 15, Community Project Leader James Kiely and the coaches who normally lead each group at the sessions have been leading it remotely via Zoom calls, with the children split into four groups to limit the numbers and not overwhelm them.
Although they can’t fully replicate the usual sessions because, for example, they couldn’t send out tackle bags, the Trust’s staff are doing their best to challenge the children in different ways while they’re at home through foundational movements, with two or three activities per session – such as animal walks, ball skills and balance challenges. Breakout rooms are used to give one-to-one coaching where necessary.
The benefits for the children include maintaining some of their normal routine, providing the sensory input they need and developing their social skills. Parents have reported that the branded T-shirts and bottles have, as hoped, helped them feel part of a team. Being at home with their parents while taking part also helps them feel comfortable.
“The overriding thing, though, is the genuine joy and excitement each week from the kids to be able to take part in rugby again, see their friends and to chat with the coaches, says Maggie Lawrie. “It’s amazing seeing how well they are responding to the sessions.”
Neill Birse, whose eight-year-old daughter Saskia takes part from their Carnoustie home, says: “I think the Trust’s Autism-Friendly Rugby is outstanding! Saskia gets a lot out of the sessions as it keeps her engaged and maintains the routine that so many autistic children need. Sunday morning is rugby and Saskia is always up and ready, waiting to log into her session.
“A lot of kids’ clubs have stopped during lockdown, but this club keeps going. Thank you guys!”
James Kiely added: “The sessions have been great for the kids who’ve been able to join in as they give them a chance to interact safely with their coaches and the other children. Saskia in particular has really surprised us with how well she has been doing with the online sessions. While in person she would occasionally drift in and out of sessions, online she’s been able to fully engage with the coaches and even managed to show the other kids on the call some of her favourite animal walks!”
The Trust plans to continue the Zoom sessions until Scotland’s path out of Lockdown allows the face-to-face ones to return.
Appeal for donations
Because its normal fundraising activities have been severely limited by Covid restrictions, the Trust is asking local people and organisations to provide monthly donations to support its full range of community wellbeing work, which includes rugby and life skills for secondary pupils, walking rugby for the less mobile and unified rugby to include people with disabilities. Details of how to donate can be found on the trust website at https://www.strathmoretrust.co.uk/donate/
‘Developing People Through Rugby’.
Strathmore Community Rugby Trust was established on 1 June 2017. We are a charitable organisation (Scottish Charity Number SC047475) which believes rugby has the power to enhance people’s lives. We aim to instil the rugby ethos into participants, coaches, and volunteers of all ages so that they can develop and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of rugby, play an active part in their local community, and have a lifelong involvement in rugby. We aim to operate sustainable programmes centred on our values of rugby, health, and community.
Following the retirals of existing Trustees, we are now seeking interest from people with an understanding of the principles of governance to join the Strathmore Community Rugby Trust Board to ensure we achieve our strategic goals and to help us identify new opportunities. The Board of Trustees is seeking to appoint a Treasurer and a General Trustee.
Commitment Required & Remuneration
Trustees generally meet quarterly. Members could also expect to have some tasks arising from meetings and are required to support fundraising events. The roles involve providing oversight and support to the employed staff, assisting with strategic planning, ensuring robust governance is in place and acting as an ambassador for the Trust. Board members are expected to make a minimum three-year commitment to this role.
While this is a voluntary role reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.
Further information about Strathmore Community Rugby Trust can be found on our website www.strathmoretrust.co.uk. For further information about the roles please contact Stuart Gray, Chairperson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications should be in the form of a CV and a covering letter outlining why you want to be involved with Strathmore Community Rugby Trust and what skills and experience you would bring. Closing date for applications is Sunday, 14th February.
Are you craving a bit of competition?? Next week (Friday 5th February) the Trust are launching the Lockdown Games 🏋️♀️🏋️🏉.
Picking Your Team
This challenge is open to teams of two. Only one member of your team needs to be signed up to a Trust projects (e.g. Rugby Academy). So, feel free to get your parents/friends/siblings involved! If your teammate doesn’t live with you then challenges can be completed either outdoors (socially distanced and in compliance with the current rules) or over a video call.
If you would like to take part but you don’t have a partner drop us an email and we can pair you up with someone.
All you need to do to sign up is complete a short registration form, send us a quick email by clicking here or email email@example.com and will send you the link.
Strathmore Community Rugby Trust is delighted to announce Angus company ASM Media & PR as a new sponsor.
ASM Media & PR, which has been the Trust’s public relations agency since 2018, has agreed a package with the Trust which will allow us to create a bank of images across all of the Trust’s projects. A picture tells a thousand words, so this is a vital service for the Trust to have secured and will help us to promote the work we do.
Commenting on the new agreement, Strathmore Community Rugby Trust’s Business Development Consultant Nick Welsh said, “They say a picture is worth a thousand words, with this very much in mind, we are delighted to have Alan’s skills and expertise to capture the powerful human stories of the participants of the Trust’s Projects #DevelopingPeopleThroughRugby. Working in partnership, we hope to evidence the positive impact on people’s lives and inspire others to join in.”
Alan S. Morrison, Owner of ASM Media & PR, commented, “Working with the Trust since 2018 has allowed me to see the great work it does for community wellbeing. I’m delighted to support that work through this sponsorship and look forward to seeing how the resulting images can help the Trust’s projects grow further, benefitting more people in Angus.”
The Trust is reliant on support from the local community to allow us to deliver projects such as Autism-Friendly Rugby or Walking Rugby. If you are interested in supporting the Trust please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Nick Welsh by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.