Scottish Rugby appoints Dr Karen Barclay as Welfare Manager

Scottish Rugby appoints Dr Karen Barclay as Welfare Manager

Scottish Rugby is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Karen Barclay as Rugby Development Welfare Manager.

The role, which is aligned to the Rugby Development Department, will see Dr Barclay develop and enhance support and guidance for grassroots clubs on both on and off-field welfare matters.

Dr Barclay completed her medical degree at Aberdeen University before specialising in paediatric care, where her career in hospital settings spanned more than 25 years.

Outside of her career as a Senior Paediatrician, Dr Barclay has been involved in rugby both as a coach and team medic, initially starting out at Currie Rugby Club in 2003, where she remained until 2019 when she became team doctor for the FOSROC Super6 side, Boroughmuir Bears.

Dr Barclay’s next step in sports medicine came just over ten years ago when she began contract work with Scottish Rugby to provide cover for Youth and Schools matches.

Since then, she has been involved as team doctor for Scotland representative age grade rugby and football teams and is currently the team doctor for Team GB Women’s Basketball.

“When my eldest son took up playing rugby, it started a new path for me too”, said Dr Barclay.

“I really enjoyed providing medical support to the players at Currie, and it was in that role I learned a lot about sports injuries and pre-hospital support. This really opened my eyes to the world of sports medicine, and it quickly became a passion, which has since snowballed into many wonderful opportunities supporting athlete’s health and wellbeing.

“When I saw the job description for the Welfare role at Scottish Rugby, it felt like it was written for me. It included everything that I am passionate about.

“Player and volunteer welfare is central to the effectiveness of providing a safe, supportive and inclusive club and I am really looking forward to the months ahead as I grow into the post.”

Welcoming Dr Barclay to the role, Gav Scott, Director of Rugby Development said: “I am thrilled to have Karen join us in the role of Welfare Manager. It is really pleasing to have appointed someone who’s wealth of experience and knowledge in both medicine and rugby is matched by their own personal passion for our game and those at the heart of it.

“Karen will play an integral part in further developing our policies and guidance for clubs and schools, alongside our existing educational resources for players and coaches and strengthening our ongoing work on concussion with other colleagues including Dr James Robson and external partners.”

Dr James Robson, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer added: “I have had the privilege to work alongside and watch Karen provide care and support to players across all levels of the game for many years now, and it has always been clear how passionate she is about providing quality care and advice to players, both on and off the field. I am delighted that she has joined Scottish Rugby in the Welfare Manager role, where I know she will make a positive impact to welfare practices within the game.”

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