Scottish Rugby Honours Community Coach Graduates
Scottish Rugby honoured 26 of its community coach apprentices at a graduation ceremony led by Edinburgh Rugby flanker Alan MacDonald at Murrayfield Stadium last night (Wednesday 29 October).This year’s graduates – who include 18-year-old Scotland Women’s internationalist Sarah Quick – achieved either a Level 2 SVQ in Coaching, Teaching & Instructing Rugby Union, or a Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Management, in addition to a number of industry specific awards within coaching, refereeing, first aid and assessing.Their input and enthusiasm towards rugby development within their own communities has involved pro-active and extended rugby development to approximately 400 primary schools and 100 secondary schools across the country in the past year. MacDonald – recently selected for the Scotland squad to face Fiji next month (Saturday 14 November) – presented the graduation scrolls at the ceremony. He said: “It’s really encouraging that community coaches are introducing rugby to thousands of youngsters throughout Scotland.”SVQs are a vital arm of Scottish Rugby’s development network and provide more rugby playing opportunities to a rapidly increasing number of young people and adults.”Alongside classroom based study, the apprentices, sponsored by rugby clubs and local authorities, work in tandem with Scottish Rugby’s community rugby regional development network and have graduated with a Scottish Modern Apprenticeship.In 2002 the Community Coach programme was launched by Scottish Rugby and it has continued to develop and flourish. The programme promotes exceptionally high standards of achievement which have been adopted and exemplified by the graduates who were honoured last night. Their contribution to the development network in delivering the opportunity to experience rugby and become physically active to thousands of Scottish schoolchildren on a weekly basis, regardless of where they live, was lauded at the ceremony by Scottish Rugby’s head of community rugby, Colin Thomson.He said: “Each of the candidates has been supported throughout their vocation by their hometown clubs and, in many cases, their local authorities. These groups must also be applauded for helping to support grassroots rugby within their own communities offering rugby to all children as an acceptable and positive sporting option. “It’s seven years since Scottish Rugby launched the community coaching initiative that, at any given time, has in the region of 50 young people involved in the programme. The scheme has been a nationally-acclaimed success contributing to the development feat of 15,000 primary and secondary school rugby sessions given to more than 120,000 pupils in a ten month period.”The programme exemplifies the way forward if we are to bring new recruits to rugby, irrespective of their background and, at the same time, encourage greater physical activity for the youth of our country with the consequential positive effects this has for the health of our nation and the wellbeing of our communities. “Congratulations to the graduates and everyone involved in giving these young people the chance to flourish.”Damien Yeates, chief executive for Skills Development Scotland, added: “It’s encouraging to see that organisations outwith the traditional industries are adopting the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, giving opportunities to those who wish to progress their careers at a vocational level.”At Skills Development Scotland, we are committed to helping individuals fulfil their potential. By delivering a robust programme of support for individuals, businesses and organisations in training and development we want to help them to reach the top of their sector.”I would like to extend my congratulations to the community coach apprentices who have been honoured by Scottish Rugby and wish them good luck with their future careers.”Since the SVQ programme started in 2002, over 80 clubs have sponsored at least one candidate onto the programme.Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Management (2nd year graduates)Jason Morgan (Clackmannanshire Council), Alan Lynch (Dalziel), Andrew Philip (Royal High Corstorphine), Ashley Ireland (Clackmannanshire Council), Ross Marrins (Portobello), Jason Hill (Perthshire), Jamie Miller (BATS Rugby), Euan Stuart (Paisley), Emma Stark (Grangemouth), Adam Grassie (Morgan), Neil McFarlane (BATS Rugby), Robert Emslie (Perthshire), Darren Cruikshank (Dumfries Saints), Niall Clawson (Forrester), Stuart Munro (Dunfermline), Christian Wallace (Grangemouth) Level 2 SVQ in Coaching, Teaching & Instructing Rugby Union (1st year graduates)Matthew Lynn (Murrayfield Wanderers), Kyle Pearson (Kilmarnock), Calum McLean (Strathmore), Colin Turnbull (Stirling County), Katie Verweijmeren (Ullapool), Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers), Keiran Scott (Peebles), Grant Drennan (Dumfries Saints), Emma Hampton (Perthshire)THE SVQ PROGRAMME• To date over 400 candidates have successfully completed at least one year on the programme• The programme has won national recognition in two successive years at the Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Awards winning the Partnership category in 2004 and the Employee Achievement category in 2005Ten Scottish SVQ community Coach apprentices are now full-time development officers.