Head of community rugby, Colin Thomson, said: “The number of people playing the game is growing year on year and Scottish Rugby recognises that, in order to fully support the increased number of players, we must look at ways in which we can offer more assistance to clubs.
“By covering the cost of match officials and offering facilities grants to clubs we aim to help alleviate the financial burden that some clubs may be experiencing in the current financial climate.”
Thomson was joined at the launch by five representatives of Scotland’s top six Scottish Hydro league winning rugby clubs who gathered at the power station to demonstrate how their own commitment and investment into development is powering their championship winning performances.
Five of the top six league winning clubs invest heavily in their club development, with each joining Scottish Rugby in partnership to employ a club development officer who is dedicated to recruiting and retaining rugby players, creating links with local schools and developing future plans for further improvement and growth.
Similarly, five of the six winners were recognised last season with the Scottish Hydro Club of the Month award which rewarded their outstanding rugby development mid-season (a fundamental part of the award) with a £1,000 prize.
Thomson added: “Club rugby is the bedrock of the sport in Scotland with volunteers, players and spectators across the country all gearing up for another fantastic season of rugby.
“Scottish Rugby is fully committed to club rugby and we are delighted to see that clubs across Scotland are entering into a development partnership with the governing body for the continued good of the game.
“This significant investment illustrates Scottish Rugby and Scottish rugby clubs’ commitment to meeting the governing body’s strategic targets of a 38% increase in young people playing rugby, and a total playing population of 38,000 by 2012.”
Scottish Hydro's Sponsorship Manager Adele Mills, said: “We want to make sure that our investment in the club game makes a real difference. Helping clubs upgrade their facilities will attract and retain players and leave a legacy for many years to come.”
The Scottish Hydro Club Facilities Fund will complement other initiatives such as the Kit for Development scheme which offers tangible support to clubs, benefiting thousands of players throughout the country.
2008/09 SCOTTISH HYDRO CLUB OF MONTH WINNERS
Howe of Fife (December)
Dundee (November) * also won club of the season
2009/10 SCOTTISH HYDRO PREMIER AND NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS’ OPENING FIXTURES
Ayr v Heriot’s
Currie v Dundee
Haddington v Kirkcaldy
Howe of Fife v Perthshire
Whitecraigs v Linlithgow
Cambuslang v Lasswade
CLUB FACILITIES FUNDING CONDITIONS
Clubs will need to submit an application form, with any associated paperwork that is also required. A full application form, with guidelines, is available to download from the Scottish Rugby website.
There are key criteria that need to be met for an award to be made. A full list is included in the application guidelines. In summary:
* Funding is available to maintain and improve club facilities.
* One application may be made per club in any 12 month period.
* A maximum of £2000 can be applied for per application.
* The sum applied for should be no more than 50% of the total project cost.
* A total of £60,000 is available for distribution to all clubs
Examples of suitable projects include (but are not limited to):
* New rugby posts
* Drainage or irrigation
* Ceiling, wall or floor upgrades or repairs
* Clubhouse improvements, e.g. kitchens or showers.
GROWING THE GAME
Scottish Rugby’s club focused development structure, revised in 2006, brings together funding from local clubs, businesses, funding agencies and authorities across the country in partnership with Scottish Rugby for the continued development and growth of rugby at all levels.
PARTICIPATION INCREASE OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS IS BROKEN DOWN AS FOLLOWS
c15,200 in 2006
c18,100 in 2007 up c2900 (16%)
c20,000 in 2008 up c1900 (10%)
Youth increase since restructure
c4,800 / 24%
c9,000 in 2006
c9,600 in 2007 up 600 (c6%)
c10,500 in 2008 up 900 (c9%)
Adult increase since restructure
c1,500 / 14%
Total increase since restructure – c6300 to 30,500 in 2008 (21%)