Highland Rugby Club have become the 15th club in Scotland to achieve the Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) in association with the Bill McLaren Foundation accreditation.
Also in the north of the country Caithness Rugby Club join the Canal Park outfit in winning the prestigious coaching award in April.
Highland development officer and PCS programme leader, Sinclair Patience, said: “Over the past year coaches at Highland have worked through the course’s framework, which is heavily influenced by Bill McLaren’s values both in rugby and in life.
“This has been a great journey and I would recommend it to any sports club, not just in rugby.
“It has enabled us to ensure we are all working towards the same goal from micros right through to senior rugby, while reminding everyone involved why they keep returning to the club. It’s about fun, friendship, respect and teamwork.
“Everyone at Highland is delighted to have reached the final stage of the PCS process and we look forward to working with Scottish Rugby and the Bill Mclaren Foundation for many more years to come.”
Scottish Rugby coach development manager, Jock Peggie, who used to be a club development officer in the Highlands and Islands, shared his excitement having worked closely with a club that achieved this award.
He said: “I have many positive memories of my time up north between 2002 and 2005, many of them were working with the members at Canal Park.
“During that time Highland always exhibited great values in looking to develop their club, people and players and it is great to see that they have now formalised their role and responsibilities in developing the next generation of players.
“Fun, enjoyment, respect and responsibility are vitally important factors and I look forward to Highland adding to their long and illustrious history as a result of this accreditation. Well done to all at Canal Park.”
Over at Millbank, Caithness’ accreditation will be a key element to the continued development of the club.
Development officer and PCS programme leader, Colin Sangster, said: “Gaining PCS accreditation is a really significant event for the club. It gives us a formal pathway to show that we’re serious about progressing, with the development of our players at the very centre of that process.
“We want all our teams to be successful, but we want our players to get so much more from being involved in the game of rugby. If they can learn, as part of our PCS framework, personal skills, which will make them better players, these very same skills will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
“We hope all this will put the rugby club at the centre of the local community and create something that people of all ages will want to be involved in.”
Scottish Rugby’s president, Alan Lawson, said: “The Bill McLaren Foundation is delighted that Caithness has earned the Positive Coaching Scotland accreditation.
“This award recognises the enormous commitment of the club, the coaches, the parents and the youngsters that make this a special place to learn life skills while playing the game of rugby.
“Fun and friendship is at the heart of a good club and they have consistently set high standards of sportsmanship with the team ethos being central to the health and welfare of their members.
“We salute the efforts of all involved and wish Caithness every success in the years ahead.”
The Positive Coaching Scotland programme in association with The Bill McLaren Foundation operates as a partnership between sportscotland, the Winning Scotland Foundation, the Bill McLaren Foundation and Scottish Rugby and has the main aims to build and sustain a strong and positive rugby culture in order to develop young rugby players and develop young people through the sport.
This programme forms part of sportscotland’s national roll out of the Positive Coaching Scotland programme through governing bodies and local authorities.
Highland and Caithness join Alloa, Berwick, Bishopton, Cartha Queen’s Park, Dunfermline, Duns, Ellon, Forrester, Hillfoots, Langholm, Lasswade, Perth and Stew-Mel Lions in winning the award.