Scotland and Canada go head to head in the sevens competition at Ibrox Stadium in the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Today, however, rivalry was put to one side as Scottish Rugby and Clydebank RFC hosted the Scottish Government and a delegation from Canada, including Canadian Minister of State (Sport), the Honourable Bal Gosal, at the club’s summer community rugby camp to learn about the work the club does supported by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme.
Since 2008 the CashBack for Communities programme has seen the seized proceeds of crime reinvested in free activities for young people, designed to help them progress to positive destinations in sport, education and employment.
CashBack funding has been invested into a network of Rugby Club Development Officers (CDOs) working on behalf of rugby clubs and communities across Scotland. This includes the deployment of a CDO at Clydebank RFC, Mick Finnegan, who delivers a range of programmes such as primary and secondary school sessions, diversionary activities, club development and community camps. The aim is to encourage young people to make the positive progression into the club, where they will benefit from the values and ethos of rugby, and the support of Mick and the club volunteers.
Clydebank have worked hard to establish themselves as a focal point in the local community, providing a safe and positive environment where young people can enjoy the benefits of regular sporting activity through to adulthood. The club also benefitted from an investment of £50,000 from the CashBack Rugby Facilities Fund in 2012 which has helped the club to establish a quality grass pitch as well as improvements to their changing accommodation. This has been the catalyst to further ambitious plans to create quality facilities for the growing Whitecrook Community Sports Hub.
Canadian Minister for State (Sport), Bal Gosal said: "I was impressed by the impact the CashBack for Communities programme is having here in Scotland. By turning a negative into a positive, this initiative is changing lives and providing Scottish youth with opportunities that could change their lives."