Stewart’s Melville Lions have become the third Positive Coaching Scotland accredited rugby club and the first in the Scottish capital. They follow Hillfoots and Bishopton in earning the award.
Stew Mel Lions club coach and programme leader, David Allan, said: “As a result of going through the Positive Coaching process, the Stew Mel Lions now have a clear set of values that have always been there but have now been crystallised.
“These values are not only true to rugby and Bill McLaren, but reach beyond that to ensure that the kids have good life skills.”
The Lions’ mission statement will be to create “an open club that pursues a set of values that will ensure that all children develop their rugby skills in a safe environment and have fun while equipping them with life skills that reach far beyond rugby.”
Allan continued: “Everyone currently involved in the club, whether it’s a coach or a parent at any age group, now have a reference that they can use to understand what it means to be a Stew Mel Lion. Every year we have a new set of coaches, parents and children that will now, from day one, know what is expected from them to fit into the Stew Mel Lions culture.”
The late Bill McLaren’s daughter, Linda Lawson and husband Alan, added: “The Bill McLaren Foundation is delighted that Stewart’s Melville Lions have embraced the positive coaching programme which epitomises the core values that Bill held so dear.
“Bill passionately drilled into the youngsters he taught basic life skills and through his enthusiasm inspired many to realise their potential both on and off the rugby field.
“We congratulate the players, coaches and parents of the Lions on achieving accreditation and we hope that they will aspire to continue to raise standards in the years ahead.”
Tommy Boyle of the Winning Scotland Foundation said: “On behalf of the Winning Scotland Foundation I congratulate Stewart’s Melville Lions on achieving the Bill McLaren Foundation Accreditation.
“We would encourage the leaders, coaches, and parents of the club to continue to build on the fantastic ethos which currently exists and reinforce those values by utilising the power of the positive coaching programme to its absolute maximum.
“Clubs like Stewart’s Melville are absolutely fundamental to maintaining a sporting environment where young people are encouraged to develop and learn those vital life lessons and become the very best that they can be not only in sport but in life.
“We wish them every success in promoting and spreading the epidemic of positivity which is required to shape the culture not only in the sport of rugby but in every sport and every community; right to the heart of today’s Scottish Society.”
Jim Calder, former Scotland internationalist, British and Irish Lion and founder of Stewart’s Melville Lions was on hand along with Alan and Linda Lawson, Tommy Boyle, Scottish Rugby’s regional development manager for Edinburgh and Midlothian, Greg Cann and Glasgow Warriors head coach, Sean Lineen to present the award to the club.
The Positive Coaching Scotland programme, in association with the Bill McLaren Foundation, encourages parents, players and coaches to work together and formulate a mission statement and ethos by which the club lives and breathes, with the process being managed by the Positive Coaching Scotland manager, Bosman Du Plessis. PCS is the flagship programme of the Winning Scotland Foundation.