Scottish Rugby and their principle partner, RBS, are delighted to announce Blairgowrie Rugby Club as RBS Club of the Month for February.
The RBS Caledonia Regional League Division 3A Midlands outfit won two of three of their matches in February against Waid Academy (18-17) and Howe of Fife 2XV (29-24) respectively and were recognised because of their sterling community work.
Blairgowrie President, Duncan MacRae, said: “It is truly an honour to get this reward and a fantastic achievement for a small town like Blairgowrie.
“I would like to thank everyone at the club who has contributed to this fantastic accolade. I see it as a reward for all the hard work that our unpaid volunteers have put into the club at all levels – many of whom have volunteered for many years– and the parental support for our junior section.”
This season the club has consistently been able to field a 1st XV team, something they struggled with before; they have two under-16 teams, one for boys and for the first time one for girls; they have teamed-up with neighbours Montrose to field an under-18 team and have built strong links with Blairgowrie High School and local primary schools.
The club also had a very good disciplinary record in February, receiving no cards at any level.
MacRae continued: “From a senior point of view we have gone from past seasons spending Friday evenings chasing up players to get a team for the Saturday to being able to select a full 22-man squad practically every week and have fielded over 30 different players this season.
“So far the seniors have won 12 of their 15 league games having topped the ‘West’ Midlands League prior to the ‘split’ at Christmas. I’m also delighted to say that they had an unblemished discipline record for January and February.
“Our youth section is also a source of great pride with strong links with Blairgowrie High School and local primary schools and despite the area being traditionally associated with the game of football the club now boast over 100 registered youth players.
“Across the mini and youth sections we now have some 15 to 20 parent coaches who are involved with our youth teams on Sunday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.
“While we currently have a very young under-16 squad, the majority of whom will still be eligible for that level next season, we just don’t have enough players to field an under-18 team. We have recently teamed-up with Montrose to ensure that the players at this level get to play rugby.
“I’m also delighted to say that we have just recently started an under-16 girls team within the region. We have around 20 girls training each Monday.”
The club also has ambitious plans for the future that without their army of volunteers would be impossible.
MacRae concluded: “Going forward we hope to continue the great work that has been done to date and try to increase the number of players playing at all levels.
“With the number of senior players slowly increasing I would very much like to see Blairgowrie field a 2nd XV on a regular basis and I hope we manage a few games before the season is out.
“I’m also delighted to say that our annual Blairgowrie Tens tournament is now well established with teams from Watsonians, Falkirk, Highland, Strathmore and Deeside being previous winners with Cowal Rugby Club making the long journey to Blairgowrie the past two seasons and hopefully again this year. During April our youth section will again host their annual mini and S1 and S2 tournaments on consecutive weekends.
“Apart from the fantastic group of volunteers that we currently have at the club we also have excellent playing facilities with the recent addition of floodlights for one of our pitches which were grant funding by Scottish Rugby and the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities initiative, something we were very grateful for.
“It is also important that we involve the community and over the past couple of years we have made our facilities available for a number of charity fundraising events including the Cancer Research Relay for Life, Car Boot sales for the Riding for the Disabled and as I mentioned earlier we continue to have a strong link with Blairgowrie High School. We also get superb support from many of our local businesses. This is really an award for the town of Blairgowrie”
As well as the prestigious trophy, Blairgowrie receive £1,000, a table of ten at the annual Scottish Rugby Club Awards dinner on Friday 31 May 2013 and an automatic nomination for the 2012/13 RBS Club of the Season, which will be decided at the dinner.
Bookings are now being taken (£37 per head) for the awards ceremony. Call 0131 346 5250 now to secure your table. Please note: a table takes up to ten guests.