A record number of Scottish clubs have this weekend been gearing up for the new season by taking part in Royal Bank of Scotland RugbyForce 2014.
Some 150 clubs have thrown open their doors and put on a community event to stoke enthusiasm and attract new interest ahead of the coming campaign.
A team of Scotland, Scotland Women and Scotland under-20 internationals rolled up their sleeves to help out with events across the country, assisting with DIY improvements to facilities and putting young players through their paces in coaching sessions and touch rugby games.
International players led from the front at: Clydebank, Deeside, Forrester, Gala, Harris Academy FP, Kilmarnock, Livingston, Lochaber, McLaren and Stornoway.
Glasgow Warriors star Sean Maitland, a British and Irish Lion, was on hand at Clydebank, where a host of west of Scotland clubs took part in a tens tournament while volunteers worked on improving the clubhouse before rounding off the day with a barbecue and having their photo taken with the RBS 6 Nations Trophy.
He said: “It was an absolute pleasure to help out and see the fantastic work the club are doing to really involve the local community and make them feel part of what is obviously a great set-up.
“Royal Bank RugbyForce is an ideal way of getting everyone together, having fun and showing people what they can get out of being engaged with the club over the course of the season. I know from my own experiences what a vital role clubs play in encouraging young talent and being a focal point for the community, and it’s fantastic to be able to give something back like this.”
Royal Bank of Scotland ambassador Chris Paterson was similarly impressed by what he saw at Clydebank, saying: “So many clubs have really embraced the ethos of Royal Bank RugbyForce this year and put a huge amount of work into staging their events. Thousands of people have had a great day out because of their efforts, and they deserve to reap the benefits with fresh interest in the club.
“Big thanks to everyone who organised or took part in a Royal Bank RugbyForce event this weekend, and all the best to the clubs who still have theirs to come.”
All registered clubs receive a £250 event contribution from Royal Bank of Scotland 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 of Scotland RugbyForce, clubs will also get access to Royal Bank of Scotland Locker Room, an initiative that provides complimentary rugby kit and equipment.
For a list of all the clubs taking part in Royal Bank of Scotland RugbyForce, please see: http://goo.gl/J551JT