One of East Lothian’s rugby clubs will celebrate 40 years of mini rugby this weekend with a dinner at their clubhouse.
Musselburgh Rugby Club’s mini section was set up in the 1973/74 season and over the years has produced players who have represented Scotland at various levels.
Most recently, Michael Maltman and Ruaridh Young, products of the Stoneyhill club, pulled on the thistle for Scotland 7s and Scotland under-20 respectively.
Former Scotland internationalist, Iain Milne, “The Bear” who was capped 44 times for his country, will be the speaker at tomorrow’s dinner (Saturday 24 May).
Scottish Rugby’s head of clubs and schools, Nick Rennie, said: “From all at Scottish Rugby I wish Musselburgh’s mini section many happy returns.
Over the years their work at this level has been invaluable to the growth of the game in East Lothian and their reward has come with a selection of their players being handed the opportunity to represent their country.
“Long may the success and growth of the game at Stoneyhill continue.”
The mini section was originally set-up to give primary school pupils the chance to play rugby as opportunities were limited at local schools.
From the beginning the club was committed to the development of rugby through all age groups and it considered the welfare and development of junior members as a key step to building the rugby players of the future.
Another important focus was, and still is, to use rugby as the means through which young boys and latterly girls can develop all their skills and abilities and become the best that they can be.
Over time as the number of other mini sections nearby increased competitive fixtures were arranged on a more regular basis and the club established its own tournament, which is still a highpoint of the fixture list. This gives the players an opportunity to test themselves against their peers from other clubs.
In order to further boost team spirit and to give the youngsters a flavour of being in a rugby club the section established an annual tour. Each year the P5, 6 and 7 teams go away accompanied by coaches, parents and helpers. In the past they have travelled to England, Ireland and within Scotland, most recently to Mackie Academy in Stonehaven.