Young Scots Put Through Their Paces In St Andrews

Scotland lock Jim Hamilton and prop Allan Jacobsen with the PDP kidsSome eight young people from Glasgow and Dundee, who are working with the Personal Development Partnership, had the opportunity to take part in a Scottish Rugby training initiative yesterday, which included a one-to-one session with national squad players.

Scottish Rugby’s CashBack for Communities development officer, Ally Chalmers, put the young people through their paces during a rugby taster session at the university pitches in St Andrews, where they had the chance to learn about the game, different positions within the team and tactics, as well as developing greater understanding of players’ health and wellbeing and it’s impact on performance.

The young people then had the chance to watch the national squad, in training for the upcoming EMC Tests, before spending some time interacting with the players who then took part in a question and answer session.

All of those taking part, are engaged with The Personal Development Partnership, a CashBack for Communities funded project which supports 14 to 19 year-olds, identified as being involved with or on the cusp of offending or who have had an involvement in anti-social behaviour to re-engage with training and development and move towards a positive destination. 

A joint venture between three of Scotland’s leading youth charities, The Prince’s Trust Scotland, Venture Trust and Venture Scotland, the initiative provides young people with a tailored personal development plan, drawing on the three partner’s extensive range of programmes.

Speaking on behalf of The Personal Development Partnership, Prince’s Trust Scotland Director Heather Gray said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to give young people a real insight into the sport and show them how they can get involved, as well as the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  The interactive session with the players was a real privilege for the young people and our thanks go to EMC for this opportunity. 

“I’m delighted we were also able to draw on the expertise of our fellow CashBack supported partners Scottish Rugby to facilitate the visit and we look forward to developing this relationship, to provide more young people with enhanced opportunities like this.”

James Petter, EMC's Vice President and Managing Director, UK & Ireland, said: "We were delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to those engaged with The Personal Development Partnership, through our relationship with Scottish Rugby and as a Silver Patron of The Prince's Trust.

“Social engagement in the communities in which we operate is a value we hold close to our hearts. Seeing national athletes in action - and having the chance to find out first-hand what elite rugby is really like - is inspiring, and I hope those who took part will put that inspiration to good use as they continue working with The Personal Development Partnership to build their skills and confidence."

Scotland prop, Allan Jacobsen, said: “The training session was brilliant, these young players’ enthusiasm is top-class and I’m sure one day some of them might be in a Scotland jersey, if they keep-up the hard work.

“Thanks to The Prince’s Trust and EMC for arranging today’s visit.”

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said: “CashBack has played a part in inspiring young people across the country to participate in sport, and will continue to do so to build a lasting legacy.  Developing young people’s interests and skills helps them to gain confidence and its rewarding to note that this can be achieved through funding seized from acts of crime.”
The opportunity was open to young people from Dundee and Glasgow and offered young people participating in the Personal Development Partnership across Scotland a chance to develop new skills, improve team work and boost confidence.

For further information on the Personal Development Partnership, log on to


Notes to editors

CashBack for Communities

More information on CashBack Personal Development Partnership is available at:

CashBack takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them in back into communities, putting young people on a positive path in life by providing opportunities for them to take part in hundreds of free activities and development programmes. The Scottish Government has invested over £45m to benefit over 600,000 young people since CashBack began.

Money is provided to local communities to support a wide range of sporting, cultural, educational and mentoring activities for children and young people aged 10 -19 years. The Programme includes a number of partnerships with Scottish sporting, arts, business, community and youth associations.

CashBack projects range from diversionary work to more long-term potentially life-changing intervention projects, which aim to turn an individual’s life around and provide them the opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education, or volunteering.

The Personal Development Partnership - partner programmes:

The Prince's Trust Scotland

Get Started - are three day a week courses which run for three weeks and focus on specific themes of interest including: 'Media' where young people get to make their own films; 'Environment' and 'Urban Spaces' for young people who like working outdoors; as well as Get Started in Sport.

Team Programme - young people will work as part of a team for 12 weeks; take on a community project; take part in an exciting, action-packed residential week; and get two weeks' work experience as well as on-going personal development.

Get Into - are full time courses that give intensive training and experience in a specific sector. This could be sport, leisure and hospitality, cars, youth work, cooking, social care - or one of many more.

Fairbridge Programme - The Fairbridge programme begins with a short Access course. It's specifically designed for young people who may have previously struggled with structured programmes and is delivered using fun, challenging activities including a few days away from home at a residential.

Young people then choose from a wide variety of follow-on sessions which develop personal and social and four other key areas: independent living, learning, community and recreation and employability.

Venture Scotland

The Journey - a long-term personal development programme focused on enabling young people to develop key personal social skills and move into employment, education, training and volunteering. The Journey is well suited to young people with complex needs who require long-term and intensive support in order to move towards a positive destination.

Venture Trust

Venture Trust helps young people recognise what they need to change then - through time, space and intensive support in carefully designed programmes - gives them the confidence, motivation and life skills they need to make those changes.