Scottish Rugby and its principal partner, RBS, are delighted to announce Carrick Rugby Club and Allan Wilson of Irvine Rugby Club as RBS Club of the Month and RBS Club Volunteer of the Month, respectively.
This month, Carrick’s three senior teams won all their matches and for the second and third XVs they had their first outings in more than 15 years. Their under-15 team was also undefeated.
The club have recently introduced their first mini rugby section and employ a development officer, Craig Davidson, and three modern apprentices, John Dewar, Blair Jardine and Connor Wyllie.
Their discipline record was unblemished in March too.
President, Willie Wylie, said: “We’re a little club fighting above our weight just now. But, it’s taken years to build a name for ourselves, by trying to add something new to our operations each year.
“One thing I’m absolutely delighted about is with the club’s discipline record and our performances in some hard leagues this year and that the core of our players are Maybole lads.
“Going forward we want to see out first and second XVs pushing for promotion in their respective leagues and make our third XV a more regular thing. Also, since introducing our minis section the enthusiasm of the children and parents has been brilliant and we want to keep building on that.
“There is a good spirit in the club and we’re delighted to have won this award. I’d like to personally thank Gordon Brown, the rugby champion at Carrick Academy, who nominated us.”
Allan, 55, who is a joiner by trade, is a key member of the Irvine club’s youth section and since playing and captaining the senior XV in his younger days, he has gone on to help make sure the club have a healthy future going forward.
This month he helped five coaches pass their UKCC level 1 coaching qualification, he arranged all the under-15, S1 and S2 matches, including catering, transport, pitch-lining and kit.
He is a member of the West region referee panel and he is known to run the line, regularly for the senior XV. Finally, he is driving the planning for the future expansion of the club and a programme to introduce strength and conditioning.
He said: “I’m really chuffed to have won this award. The club is my life, but I just do my bit and have never expected to win anything.
“I’ve been at the club for 40 years. I played football at school but knew I wasn’t very good so I tried rugby and I’ve never looked back.
“Currently I’m the youth convener, the club coach co-ordinator, kit manager and I’m a qualified referee. I really enjoy helping the club to develop and create a sustainable future.”
Glen Tippett, regional development manager for Glasgow South, said: “There are three rugby clubs in South Ayrshire and all three of them have won the RBS Club of the Month award this season, this is a testament to the hard work, over many years, of their volunteers.
“Nine years ago Carrick almost folded and now they’re winning this award with three senior teams. Their relationship with the school in Maybole is phenomenal and the majority of the senior players are former pupils, between the club and the school they have over 300 registered members.
“It’s also great to see Allan winning the volunteer award. He has dedicated a lot of time to the development of the club and is definitely a worthy winner of this award.”
In winning the awards, Carrick and Allan will receive a trophy and a table of ten at the annual Scottish Rugby Club Awards Dinner on Friday 31 May and automatic nominations for the RBS Club of the Season and RBS Club Volunteer of the Season awards, to be presented at the gathering. Carrick will also receive £1,000 to invest in the club.
The RBS package of support for Scotland's clubs also includes RBS RugbyForce, a long-standing initiative that allows clubs to strengthen their position at the heart of local communities by organising events designed to mobilise current members and attract new interest.
RBS RugbyForce 2013 takes place on the weekend of Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August, with a Wednesday 24 April deadline for registrations. To register, clubs should simply head to www.rbs.co.uk/scottishrugby, click on the RBS RugbyForce link at the top of the page and enter the required information.
Registered clubs will be eligible to receive benefits like a support pack to promote their event, assistance in getting the word out through their local RBS branch, and £250 towards event costs.