City Youngsters Coached By Scotland Stars
Young Edinburgh school children were treated to a guest coaching session by Scotland internationalists this week as part of the RBS RugbyLink programme.The programme, run in conjunction with The Prince’s Trust and Scottish Rugby’s xlerate with xl club initiative, actively encourages young people to engage in the sport and to teach young people key skills that can be gained from rugby that can be transferred to their everyday lives away from the pitch. Scotland and Glasgow Warriors players, John Barclay and Graeme Morrison, joined coaches from Edinburgh BATS to lead Tag Rugby sessions and gave Drummond Community High School pupils advice on playing the game and the importance of healthy eating and getting regular exercise.The school team at Drummond Community High School is one of ten schools taking part in the xlerate with xl Tag-Rugby programme which offers an introduction to rugby through multiple Tag-Rugby sessions, access to top level players, educational materials, as well as coaching from Scottish Rugby staff on nutrition and healthy lifestyles.The pupils also experienced the thrill of the game first hand last Saturday as they joined the crowds at Murrayfield to cheer on the national squad as Scotland beat Italy 26-6 in the RBS 6 Nations.Pupils across Scotland, including Drummond, are now gearing up to compete in their own Tag-Rugby Tournament at the stadium at the end of March, with all participating schools taking part.John Barclay said: “Sessions like today are great to be a part of. What young people can learn through playing rugby can often be taken off the pitch as well and applied to other areas of their life away from the game, and the RBS RugbyLink scheme really helps to highlight that.” Graeme Morrison added: “It’s brilliant to see so many kids here today enjoying rugby – especially as many have never had first-hand experience of playing the game. And you never know, if they take a shine to it, with enough dedication and the right support, any one of them could become a future Scotland star. So it’s really rewarding for us to be able to help them on their way.”Geraldine Gammell, Director of The Prince’s Trust in Scotland, added: “Sport is such a fantastic way to engage with young people. The pupils here today are not only being trained by some of rugby’s leading sportsmen, they’re also building self- confidence, self-esteem and experiencing team building at the highest level. The Prince’s Trust is all about giving young people chances and opportunities – this is one they’ll never forget.”In 2007, a joint RBS and Prince’s Trust report revealed that young people who do not reach their full potential cost Scotland£1.2 billion in lost earnings. This programme aims to assist young people who face significant barriers to engaging in to making the most of their educational opportunities. Since The RBS 6 Nations Tag-Rugby Project launched in 2004, over 1000 young people have been helped through RBS 6 Nations and The Prince’s Trust. RBS RugbyLink is a series of club, schools and charity initiatives connecting people with rugby and all its benefits both on and off the pitch.