Rugby Scores With Sportscotland Investment
As the curtain draws on another RBS 6 Nations campaign, Scottish Rugby today received a major boost with sportscotland's announcement of £802,000 in annual investment to the sport. The investment, which includes £389,000 from the sportscotland Lottery Fund, will go towards the regional infrastructure supporting Scottish rugby clubs and developing player and coaching initiatives. Today's announcement confirms sportscotland as one of the biggest supporters of rugby union in Scotland.As the curtain draws on another RBS 6 Nations campaign, Scottish Rugby today received a major boost with sportscotland's announcement of £802,000 in annual investment to the sport. The investment, which includes£389,000 from the sportscotland Lottery Fund, will go towards the regional infrastructure supporting Scottish rugby clubs and developing player and coaching initiatives. Today's announcement confirms sportscotland as one of the biggest supporters of rugby union in Scotland. Encouraging more people to play rugby, to grow the game at the grassroots in Scotland, is a top priority for Scottish Rugby. The regional infrastructure now in place is ensuring that stronger links are being developed with member clubs and schools and other key stakeholders such as local authorities. Already this has improved communication throughout the sport and the formation of regional development groups has helped to produce plans, targeting increased numbers playing the game and the creation of new training opportunities for coaches. Scottish Rugby is also working with sportscotland's two pilot sports partnership programmes - SportCentral in the Forth Valley region and SportTayside and Fife. Scottish Rugby is leading the way in the implementation of the UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) and Murrayfield is now an approved delivery centre, able to help other sports in achieving UKCC qualifications. Part of sportscotland's investment will be specifically targeting the development of women's rugby throughout Scotland. The Scottish Women's Rugby Union is working closely with schools and clubs to introduce the oval ball to young girls and to encourage long term participation. Through Scottish Rugby's Regional development network, more opportunities are being made available to women and girls of all ages, to attract and retain them in the sport, with a clear pathway now in place from grassroots to international level. In addition, some of the funding will help Scottish Rugby implement and expand their National Age Grade Programme, helping young talented rugby players to improve their skills and fitness levels. Welcoming the announcement, Sports Minister Patricia Ferguson said: "This funding demonstrates our clear commitment to supporting and development of one of Scotland's best loved sports. "I'm particularly pleased that a share of the money will be used to encourage more women to participate in rugby, both at professional and grassroots levels, as well as people from areas where rugby has traditionally not been as popular." Julia Bracewell OBE, Chair, sportscotland said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Scottish Rugby Union to drive the sport forward, increasing participation and developing the performance pathway." Gordon McKie, Chief Executive of Scottish Rugby added: "We welcome the sportscotland funding as it helps to support us with one of our top priorities - to grow the game in Scotland. Supporting playing and coaching throughout Scottish clubs, and doing everything possible to enable boys, girls, men and women to enjoy rugby and develop their potential is absolutely vital."