Clubs up and down Scotland will this weekend celebrate the start of the new season by throwing open their doors and staging a Royal Bank of Scotland RugbyForce event.
Some 150 clubs, the biggest ever Scottish sign-up, will be running days aimed at mobilising their current players, supporters, social members and volunteers and engaging new interest for the year ahead.
On the basis of submissions they put forward when registering, ten clubs have been selected to have international players help out on Saturday. Scotland national team stars, along with counterparts from the Scotland Women and under-20 teams, will be lending a hand at: Clydebank, Deeside, Forrester, Gala, Harris Academy FP, Kilmarnock, Livingston, Lochaber, McLaren and Stornoway.
Scotland all-time great and Royal Bank of Scotland ambassador Chris Paterson is heading to Clydebank along with the RBS 6 Nations trophy. He said: “All the ingredients are there for a great Royal Bank RugbyForce weekend right across Scotland.
Clydebank in particular is shaping up to be a fantastic day. They’ve got a range of activity on the go, from a regional 10s tournament to a family BBQ and some DIY to get the ground looking spick and span for the season ahead. It’s a day with something for everyone, which is very much the spirit of Royal Bank RugbyForce. I’m sure they’ll get a great turnout both from people currently involved with the club and those who want to see what they’ve got to offer.
“That’s going to be mirrored at clubs across Scotland, with the aim of them feeling the benefit of new interest over the course of the season."
In previous years, the focus of Royal Bank RugbyForce has been on amassing volunteers to help spruce up facilities, but more and more clubs are now using the weekend to encourage the local community to get involved in a more lasting sense, whether as players, supporters, social members, volunteers or sponsors.
Events being put on by clubs this year include “come and try” touch rugby sessions, fêtes with stalls and stands, regional mini, tens and sevens tournaments, joint open days with other local sports clubs, plus the usual array of team DIY activities to get grounds ship shape in time for the big kick-off.
All clubs taking part receive a £250 event contribution from Royal Bank as well as a banner and posters to promote their event, a comprehensive event planning guide, discounted BBQ supplies and PR and media support.
By signing up for Royal Bank RugbyForce, clubs will also get access to Royal Bank Locker Room, an initiative that provides complimentary rugby kit and equipment.
To keep up to date with the latest news around Royal Bank RugbyForce 2014, head to the RBS Scottish Rugby Facebook page or follow on Twitter @RBS_Rugby_Lad and @scotlandteam #RBSRugbyForce.
For a list of all the clubs taking part in Royal Bank RugbyForce, please see: http://goo.gl/J551JT.
Please note that player appearances are subject to change if unforeseen circumstances dictate.
Current schedule of player appearances for Saturday 9 August:
Clydebank – Sean Maitland, Pat MacArthur and Alex Allan plus Royal Bank ambassador Chris Paterson. 12noon-2pm
Deeside – Tim Visser and Grayson Hart. 11am-1pm
Forrester – Grant Gilchrist and Jack Cuthbert. 12noon-2pm
Gala – Ross Ford and Alasdair Dickinson. 1-3pm
Harris Academy FP – Tom Brown and Greig Tonks. 1-3pm
Kilmarnock – Gordon Reid, Rob Harley and Peter Murchie. 12noon-2pm
Livingston – David Denton and Matt Scott. 12noon-2pm
Lochaber – Duncan Weir, Chris Fusaro and Peter Horne. 12noon-2pm
McLaren – Tim Swinson, Finn Russell and Henry Pyrgos. 11am-1pm
Stornoway – Jonny Gray and Alex Dunbar. 11am-1pm