Dave’s Story

Dave Vernon
Brechin High School Project
Teacher – Programme Co-ordinator

The Rugby Connect Course at Brechin High School is all about motivating pupils to develop their life skills to prepare them for success in school and in their future.  Having played rugby all my life I am well aware of the benefits and opportunities it can provide and I was delighted when this course was set up as I knew it could be a driver that some of our pupils needed.  I have now seen first-hand some of the pupils on the course gaining confidence to take on challenges that they would not have done before.  I have seen them develop communication, teamwork and leadership qualities in a setting that would not normally have been possible and this has impacted their whole school life.  The rugby has been fun but the impact from the whole course has been huge.

I benefited by making lifelong friends from all over the world. It has given me brilliant memories and a sense of achievement. It has given opportunities to travel and experience different cultures. It has given me job opportunities and made me more employable.  I would like to give our pupils the same opportunities.

How long have you played rugby?

All my life, being able to use the sport as a way to motivate the younger generation is great.

What do you like most about rugby?

I enjoy the competitive challenge, physical and mental. Also being part of a team, putting effort into a tough match or a long season creates strong bonds with other players.

How does playing rugby benefit your cohort?

Many of the individuals who partake in our programme lack motivation and drive to succeed at school. By using rugby as a vehicle to support and motivate them, we are instilling key values into their life, such as respect and integrity. Throughout the programme, I have witnessed individuals blossom into respectful young adults, who are good team players.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying rugby?

Rugby is inclusive and a great way to meet new people. We have fun and engaging games which are a great way to release some energy. You don’t have to be a professional, everyone involved is there because they love having fun and engaging with other people. I would definitely consider getting involved in rugby – you won’t regret it.