Scottish Rugby Board Takes To The Road

The Scottish Rugby Board meets in Motherwell today – in the heart of an area where a vivid partnership between volunteers, the governing body and the local authority is opening up opportunities for wider participation in rugby. “It makes a lot of sense for us to hold our meeting in North Lanarkshire today, given that the relationship we enjoy with clubs, volunteers and the Council here is very much the model of best practice, “ said Scottish Rugby’s Chairman, Allan Munro.The Scottish Rugby Board meets in Motherwell today – in the heart of an area where a vivid partnership between volunteers, the governing body and the local authority is opening up opportunities for wider participation in rugby.

“It makes a lot of sense for us to hold our meeting in North Lanarkshire today, given that the relationship we enjoy with clubs, volunteers and the Council here is very much the model of best practice, “ said Scottish Rugby’s Chairman, Allan Munro.

The Chairman also gave Scottish Rugby’s backing to Lanarkshire’s bid to host the first International Children’s Games in 2011.

The Games would see more than 2,000 young athletes between the ages of 12 and 15 from over 70 countries participate in the core sports of track and field and swimming.

Rugby can be chosen as one of the sports for the event and Scottish Rugby is pleased that North Lanarkshire Council is actively considering that option.

Munro declared: “Scottish Rugby is delighted to support the bid by North and South Lanarkshire Councils in partnership with New Lanarkshire Limited. The effort they are putting in to encourage sport at all levels, particularly, from our point of view, rugby, deserves to be recognised.

“We wish Lanarkshire every success in its attempt to replicate that energy on an international stage and trust the bid to host the 2011 International Children’s Games will hold sway over rival bids from Singapore and Daegu in South Korea.”

Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “We are delighted that Scottish Rugby has chosen to recognise our successful rugby youth development programme by holding their board meeting, for the first time outside Edinburgh, in North Lanarkshire.

“In this year alone more than 60 primary schools and over 4,000 pupils have been involved in our rugby programme and this sits alongside our commitment to encouraging and promoting healthy and active lifestyles for all. I hope that seeing Scottish Rugby come to North Lanarkshire will act as an inspiration and motivation for our young rugby players and encourage the promotion of the sport at the heart of our local communities."

Munro noted that there are currently four rugby clubs in North Lanarkshire: Dalziel in Motherwell who run three senior teams, an under-18s, under-16s, under-15s, S2, S1 and sides at Primaries 3, 4, 5,6 and 7; Cumbernauld who have three senior teams, an under-17s, under-15s, S2, S1 and sides at Primaries 4, 5, 6 and 7; Waysiders/Drumpellier in Coatbridge who have two senior teams, an under-16s, S2, S1 and primaries 4,5,6 and 7; and new club Calder, based in Bellshill, who have two senior teams.

With the assistance of North Lanarkshire Council’s rugby development officer, Alistair McCall, and Scottish Rugby’s Regional Development Manager, Kenny Murray, more than 60 primary schools in the area with some 4,000 children have taken part in rugby this year.

Five of those schools – Ladywell, Noble, St Bartholomews, Greenhill and Old Monkland, are involved in a Scottish Rugby/Food Standards Agency, healthy eating lessons project combined with fitness activity.

Ten secondary schools in the area are currently running rugby teams with Coatbridge’s Rosehall High School, the centre of a Healthy Living Project that is also encouraging more boys and girls to get physically active.

Munro also reported that during the last three years clubs in North Lanarkshire have had eight SVQ community coach students, who have assisted in spreading the rugby gospel. Two of those students, Grant Talbot and Peter McCartin, both from Dalziel, have received community coach of the year awards.

Munro added: “We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with clubs, volunteers and North Lanarkshire Council in the years to come encouraging greater participation in our sport and, hopefully, helping the health of the nation too.”

The bid to host the 2011 International Children’s Games is being put forward by North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council and New Lanarkshire Limited. The outcome will be announced at the 2008 International Children’s Games in San Francisco in July.