First Minister Backs Scottish Rugby Development

First Minister Backs Scottish Rugby Development

Scottish Rugby Chairman Allan Munro joined First Minister Alex Salmond and Minister for Public Health and Sport, Shona Robison, in backing Scottish Rugby’s development of the game during a visit to the Scottish Borders today. The First Minister attended a summer rugby festival organised by Melrose RFC development officer, Ross Miller at the club’s ground, The Greenyards. The First Minister also announced plans to provide Scottish Borders Council with£10,000 to enhance its existing investment in rugby opportunities and supplementing funds already made available though the Cashback for Communities initiative.   Speaking before tomorrow’s summer tour cabinet meeting, Salmond said: “Rugby is a key part of our national sporting heritage, not least in the Scottish Borders where the towns’ names are synonymous worldwide with the game.”We are committed to supporting the work of national sporting agencies and local authorities to develop the game, both as an activity and a spectacle.”Rugby is in fine fettle in Scotland under the management of the Scottish Rugby Union, particularly Rugby 7s.”In May, Murrayfield will again host the finale of the IRB World Sevens Series, the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s Festival, and should Scottish Rugby be keen on putting their name forward to host the RWC 7s in 2013, we would be delighted to give them our full support in ensuring that it is a world class tournament.” Today’s acclamation followed Scottish Rugby’s announcement that through the national network of development officers over 15,000 primary and secondary school rugby sessions were delivered to more than 120,000 pupils in the past ten months (of which around 2700 sessions were delivered to 18500 Borders school children). On hand were Scottish Rugby Chairman Allan Munro, Scotland internationalist Chris Paterson and his Edinburgh Rugby team mate Mark Robertson, who took part in the day’s rugby festival. “On behalf of Scottish Rugby I would like to thank the Scottish Government and the Scottish Borders Council for their support of Scottish Rugby,” said Munro. Scottish Rugby is enjoying very positive progress both on and off the park. This year we have been delighted to see around 150,000 young people taking part in rugby activity through our development officer network, targeting non-traditional rugby areas across the country and we thank the Scottish Government for their assistance. “Growing and increasing the accessibility of the game is fundamental to Scottish Rugby’s strategic objective to have 38,000 people playing rugby by 2012 and I’d like to pay tribute to the collective success of the development officer network and the many dedicated volunteers who continue to put us ahead of schedule to meet that very ambitious target.” “We will await the documentation from the International Rugby Board in respect of RWC 7s 2013 before making any decision on whether to bid. However we are grateful for the continued and fulsome backing of the Scottish Government as we continue to grow our sport throughout Scotland.” A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council, added: “Rugby is part of our strong cultural heritage here in the Borders and we are delighted that the Scottish Government is joining with the Council to support its further development. “We have an excellent rugby programme which provides a sustainable pathway through the development of core skills, schools programmes, clubs and performance. This additional funding will further develop our rugby programmes – thus widening opportunities for rugby in the Borders. Rugby development in the Borders is driven by a team of development officers who are jointly funded by Scottish Rugby, SBC, and the local clubs.  There are currently ten rugby development officers working across the Scottish Borders.” Since the Scottish Rugby development restructure in 2006, the total number of people playing contact rugby has risen by around 21% (from circa 24,200 to 30,500) while, importantly,  the number of young people playing contact rugby has risen by about 24% (from circa 15,200 to 20,000).  – ENDS -Notes to editors: Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival·    The Emirates Airline Edinburgh Sevens Festival is the eighth and final leg of the IRB Sevens World Series. It will be held at Murrayfield on 29 and 30 May 2010. ·    Rugby Sevens will be one of the showpiece events of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Scottish Rugby in the community:·        The revised club focused development structure works to bring funding from local clubs and businesses together with local authorities across the country who, in partnership with Scottish Rugby, are cooperating for the continued development and growth of rugby at all levels.·        In partnership with rugby clubs and local authorities throughout Scotland, the injection of CashBack into Scottish Rugby’s own substantial community spend has paved the way for an increase in the number of jointly funded club development officers (CDOs) employed in clubs and local authorities across the country (65).·        Once appointed, CDOs work to further increase the numbers of children playing rugby in their local schools, forge solid links between the schools and clubs, build and strengthen the existing competitions that are in place, and help the local clubs develop their own plans for the improvement of the game to maximise the opportunities to play rugby in the area. Participation increase in contact rugby over the past two years is broken down as follows: Youth participationc15, 200 in 2006c18,100 in 2007 up c2900 (16%)c20,000 in 2008 up c1900 (10%)Youth increase since restructure c4800 / 24% Adult participationc9,000 in 2006c9,600 in 2007 up 600 (c6%)c10,500 in 2008 up 900 (c9%)Adult increase since restructurec1500 / 14% Total increase since restructure – c6300 / 21%  Regional participation figures for school sessions delivered by the DO/SVQ network are as follows:  School sessions School individuals Borders and East Lothian 2696 18497 Central and West Lothian 2186 17151 Edinburgh and Midlothian 1781 18522 Glasgow North 2467 22022 Glasgow South 2640 16115 Grampian 947 10301 Highlands and Islands 620 2869 Tayside and Fife 1620 14151  Some Scottish Rugby initiatives and competitions committed to growing the game:SVQs community coach programme Rugby Champions (supported by Scottish Widows Bank) Cashback of communities investment and Street Rugby Food Standards Agency (Scotland) – Hygiene, Healthy Eating and Activity in Primary Schools Scottish Hydro Electric kit for development Scottish Rugby and The Prince’s Trust’s – XL Club Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools’ Cup  and Scottish School 7s National Youth Cup

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