Scottish Rugby holds Parliamentary reception

Scottish Rugby held its annual Parliamentary reception at Holyrood this week.

MSPs from across the political spectrum gathered to hear from and meet Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend, Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson, President Rob Flockhart and players and coaches from both the elite and domestic game.

The reception was hosted by Scotland’s Minister for Childcare, Maree Todd MSP and the keynote speech was delivered by Scotland’s Minister for Sport and Public Health, Aileen Campbell MSP.

Ms Campbell hailed Scottish Rugby initiatives to welcome more young people, boys and girls, into rugby and reflected on an increase in playing numbers among young people.

She praised the support of volunteers in the community and said: “From Selkirk to Shetland, Scottish Rugby is encouraging children in the skills required to play, but also demonstrate other life skills which will set them in good stead for future life.”

The evening also featured a pledge from Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, to continue to engage with industry and commerce among ex-pat communities with which Scottish Rugby interacts during international matches and on the World Series Sevens circuit.

This is part of Scottish Rugby’s determination to build its global brand.

Graeme White, Head of Tourism from Scottish Development International, spoke on the same theme and talked of the benefits of working in tandem with Scottish Rugby on such projects.

International players including Stuart McInally and Mark Bennett (both Edinburgh Rugby), Zander Fagerson and Tim Swinson (both Glasgow Warriors), Rhona Lloyd and Jade Konkel from the Scotland Women’s team and Scotland 7s captain Scott Riddell and Sevens head coach John Dalziel were quizzed by MSPs about a packed 2018 schedule.

Ms Campbell added: “2017 was a fantastic year for rugby and we can look ahead to a very busy 2018 with the Six Nations around the corner, the 7s team who will be flying out to the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April and then the 7s World Cup later in the year. To players, coaches, volunteers and supporters, I would like to wish you all a successful year ahead.”