Garioch Win Club Of The Month

Inverurie club, Garioch, have won the Scottish Hydro club of the month award for January / February.

With so few games played in January because of the harsh winter, the award, and the £1000 prize, was extended to cover both January and February and recognises the club’s performance on and off the field.

Garioch sit comfortably at the top of Scottish Hydro Caledonia North East 2 with a 14 point cushion and a game in hand, winning their two matches in the months by over 60 points with an unblemished discipline record, satisfying two of the three award criteria.

Inverurie club, Garioch, have won the Scottish Hydro club of the month award for January / February.

With so few games played in January because of the harsh winter, the award, and the £1000 prize, was extended to cover both January and February and recognises the club’s performance on and off the field.

Garioch sit comfortably at the top of Scottish Hydro Caledonia North East 2 with a 14 point cushion and a game in hand, winning their two matches in the months by over 60 points with an unblemished discipline record, satisfying two of the three award criteria.

In addition to their table-topping 1st XV league performances, the club has been applauded for their extensive rugby development.

In partnership with Scottish Rugby, the club's sponsors and Aberdeenshire Council, the club support a full time development officer (DO), Chris Lawson, and also a part-time community coach.

Along side Ellon DO, Mike Avis, Lawson has just run a festival involving primary schools from the Meldrum school network, bringing over 200 youngsters together. Lawson also ran two other festivals for the Inverurie and Kemnay school networks, with around 280 and 220 pupils attending respectively.

Lawson said: “It’s great to be recognised. The award rewards a lot of hard work from volunteers who do an excellent job – we couldn’t do it without them.”

As result of the club’s commitment to grassroots development, Garioch now has a vibrant mini section and S1/2 group and is working with Aberdeen Wanderers to field a combined under-15 team as well as the reestablishment of their under-16 and under-18 teams while their 2nd XV play regular friendly fixtures the 2nd XV league.

“Despite being predominantly a football orientated area, the local kids have reacted really well to rugby. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on having fun which is where I think rugby really comes into its own.” added Lawson.

“It’s much less competition-based with participation and enjoyment the priority and I think this is why an increasing number of, particularly school kids, are coming down to the club.”
 
Garioch president, Stuart Archer, said: “I’m absolutely delighted for club. The coaches, the players and the volunteers have put a huge amount of work into the club, particularly in terms of seeking increased funds to cover the cost of a dedicated DO.

“We’re a pretty small club at the lower end of the divisions but we certainly put more than our fair share into growing the game.

“We’re really starting to see the benefits of having Chris [Lawson] in place with new members joining from the local primary and secondary schools.

“For the first time in a number of seasons we’ve been able to field a regular second team which, any one knows, is a must if you want a successful first team. We also get a lot of support from local businesses; particularly from Lawrence of Kemnay provide cars for the development staff – crucial to getting them around the various schools in the area.”

Douglas Flowers, Scottish Hydro Sponsorship Account Manager, said: “I’d like to extend my congratulations to a truly remarkable club.

“Garioch rugby club are worthy winners of this prestigious award and I’d like to wish them every success for this season as they challenge for promotion.”

The Scottish Hydro Club of the Month award is based on three key criteria – performance, growing the game and discipline.
• The award is determined by a Scottish Rugby panel after nominations from Scottish Rugby Council members, Rugby Development staff and the rugby community.
• The winning club receives £500 from Scottish Rugby, £500 from league and cup sponsor, Scottish Hydro, and a commemorative certificate to mark their award.

2009/10 Scottish Hydro Club of the Month Winners
September - Dalziel
October – Orkney
November – Greenock Wanderers
December – North Berwick
January / February – Garioch