Rugby has the potential to make a significant impact on young people’s lives. We are a values-laden sport, through which young people, male and female, can learn physical, mental and emotional life-skills that endure and contribute to the development of self-reliance and resilience within our young people. We are a sport committed to the development of: leadership, enjoyment, achievement, engagement and respect.
Expanding the school and youth game is integral to increasing player numbers at all levels. The programmes we run focus on encouraging more children, from all walks of life, to take up rugby and continue to play through their teenage years and beyond.
Scottish Rugby supports schools and clubs in their partnerships with Club Development Officers and Community Coaches. We have expanded our CashBack Schools of Rugby, where pupils in S1-S3 take part in up to five sessions per week with a focus on developing core skills, physical competence and establishing new rugby teams. We believe that young players develop into confident and competent adult players through exposure to a long-term development process, where regular, appropriate and competitive playing opportunities exist for all, and a culture of rugby participation is established. To this end we have restructured our schools and youth playing structures to ensure that where possible, clubs and schools fielding 5 or more teams (one at each age grade level) are grouped together in playing conferences and playing against each other at all age groups on set weekends during the Autumn term.
In short, we aim to create a culture of rugby in a school/club environment that has a positive and long lasting impact on the player, the school/club and ultimately the senior section at the local rugby club. To achieve this we need to work in partnership with schools, local authorities and clubs who share this vision. Working with schools and clubs, our aim is to grow player numbers, while also translating more playing time and raising the standard of play into higher retention rates when players graduate into the adult game. Players will also have better skill sets and a competitive maturity that allows them to participate and excel as they progress through the game.