Scottish Rugby to invest criminals' cash to help young people

Scottish Rugby has been awarded over £1.3million by the Scottish Government from proceeds of crime to provide opportunities for young people across the country.

The three-year funding cycle comes from the CashBack for Communities fund which redistributes assets seized from the result of crime for sporting, social and cultural projects.

Scottish Rugby has directed the funding across 15 secondary schools, and associated feeder primary schools, using the physical and social benefits of rugby to help educational attainment and pupils’ own personal development.

Children from primary 6 through to 6th year will be introduced to rugby in curricular sessions, building into extra-curricular activities with the objective of representing their school in inter-school competition.

The money will go towards developing the ‘CashBack Schools of Rugby – Sport for Change’ programme that has already seen success in Glasgow and the Borders and aims to reach 4,500 young people.

The programme will provide opportunities and build confidence in disadvantaged young people alongside developing physical fitness, cognitive skills and personal qualities.

Colin Thomson, Scottish Rugby’s Head of Schools & Youth, said: “The CashBack for Communities funding has been invaluable to our clubs and schools across Scotland over the last three years, especially in our Cashback Schools of Rugby.

“We look forward to working with the government in the coming months to ensure that the schools announced today are developed as strong rugby communities across Scotland.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson said: “The CashBack programme allows us to use money seized from criminals and invest it into facilities and activities which benefit local communities throughout Scotland.

“Through CashBack we are assisting many of Scotland’s young people to reach their full potential in life, helping them to learn new skills, boost their confidence and develop as responsible citizens.”  

The schools targeted to deliver the programme are:

Hawick High School – Scottish Borders

Castlebrae Community High School / Gracemount High School – Edinburgh City

Lornshill Academy - Clackmannanshire

Falkirk High School - Falkirk

Levenmouth Academy – Fife

Coatbridge High School – North Lanarkshire

St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School – Glasgow City

Springburn Academy - Glasgow

St Andrew’s Secondary School – Glasgow City

Smithycroft Secondary School – Glasgow City

Maxwelltown High School – Dumfries & Galloway

Cumnock – East Ayrshire

Auchinleck Academy – East Ayrshire

Auchenharvie Academy – North Ayrshire

Ayr Academy – South Ayrshire