Willie is a player in our walking rugby team and a great advocate for the Trust. Walking Rugby is a slower, non-contact version of rugby for adults who are looking to increase their levels of physical activity. It is suitable for those recovering from illness or injury, retired players and older people looking to stay fit and active – “exactly the case for me. I can’t play 15-a side now – but through walking rugby I am still playing rugby but not doing the physical contact side of it which is great as I couldn’t manage the physical side of it now” says Willie. The sessions take place at Strathmore Rugby Club from April – October and then move indoors to Forfar Community Campus from November – March.
How long have you played rugby?
I started playing rugby at Strathmore Rugby Club when I was 16. I am now 64 and enjoying being able to get back involved again.
What do you like most about rugby?
I like the social side of it, the camaraderie of playing, being involved, meeting other people. And I just enjoy rugby.
How does playing rugby benefit you?
It is good for my physical health. It’s great just getting out there. Great both for my physical and mental health.
I liked being involved with Tartan Touch rugby when that was on at the Club too. It’s brilliant being able to play with such a variety of people, from primary school kids up to my age and older. The primary school kids would get the ball and just run at you with a big smile on their face. I really enjoyed it. The walking rugby is a way of still keeping me involved with rugby. We are able to have mixed ladies and gents teams at the walking rugby/tartan touch. I think we all really enjoyed playing together – It’s a brilliant atmosphere, I really enjoy it.
What is your best rugby memory?
I have two:
1.) Winning the league with Strathmore RFC to go up to national leagues in 1978. This was brilliant for the Club.
2.) Strathmore RFC got to the bowl final at Murrayfield in 2010. My son Stuart was playing at that time so went down to see him play.
I have lots of great memories, I have played with a lot of very good players and I have enjoyed it all.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying rugby?
Give it a go! Doesn’t matter whether you have played before – no one is bad. Rugby gets you going. It’s great for your hand-eye coordination, something which is important to work on especially at my age. I don’t do a lot of fitness stuff apart from walking so it’s great to get involved with rugby again, and even more amazing to be able to do it at Strathmore with the facilities – it’s amazing!