Caledonia Midlands & East Regional Winners Awarded

Caledonia Midlands & East Regional Winners Awarded

Regional winners in the 2020 Scottish Rugby Development Awards from the East and Caledonia Midlands were presented with their awards at BT Murrayfield on Sunday at the Guinness Six Nations match vs France.

The Scottish Rugby Development Awards celebrate and recognise the efforts of players, coaches, match officials and volunteers from the domestic game across all five regions of Scotland. The five winners from both regions came together with Scottish Rugby officials for the ceremony.

The presentation took place before the Guinness Six Nations Scotland v France match and awards were presented across five categories including; Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the season in youth rugby, Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the season in schools' rugby, Mitsubishi Motors Young volunteer of the season, Tennent's Volunteer of the season in adult rugby and Tennent's Community club of the season.

Scottish Rugby’s Regional Director for the East Region, David Drummond said:

“It’s so important to celebrate the achievements of the hard-working volunteers we have in our game and Sunday was all about recognising and rewarding their dedication to our sport. Across both regions, we have so many passionate and committed people who give up so much of their time to help others take part in rugby. Sharing the day with them, presenting them with their award and getting to know our winners and their guests was both a privilege and inspiring. On behalf of everyone at Scottish Rugby, I’d like to thank them for their contribution to the game and congratulate them on their thoroughly well-deserved award.”

Scottish Rugby’s Regional Director for Caledonia Midlands Steve Turnbull said:

“Sunday was a fantastic day to recognise our deserved winners of our regional Development Awards. It was a great day of celebration and an important one for us to say thank you to the volunteers for all the work they do for their clubs, schools and local communities.These are volunteers who put in a huge amount of time and effort and are crucial to the sustainability and development of the game. It was nice to spend some social time and enjoy their company in hospitality at the Scotland v France game.”

The respective Award Winners and citations for their achievements are listed below:

Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the season in youth rugby

Caledonia Midlands: Calum Bruce, Carnoustie RFC

Calum works tirelessly week in and week out at all the Primary Schools in the Angus area. His main focus is Carnoustie Midi Rugby, which is U14 and U16 teams. This year he entered them into the Mitsubishi Motors Lancer Conference and although they were defeated in some games, it is encouraging for the club to have dedicated players that train every week. Calum gives up all of his time to support these teams and works very closely with his wife (Mandy Bruce) who is the club youth compliance officer to ensure the kids are looked after and have all the necessary support mechanisms in place to enable them to turn up and enjoy rugby.

The East: Ken Muir, North Berwick RFC

After joining his club four years ago, Ken took on the role of Mini Rugby Convener, with a Committee position, for a five-year term. He has recruited a Child Protection Officer and together they have ensured that the large team of around 50 mini coaches all have PVG and over 50% are UKCC qualified. Ken’s other work in the club includes being the Club Coach Coordinator and a SCRUMS administrator, whilst he coordinated the clubs extremely successful ‘Everyone’s Game’ participation around the Rugby World Cup. This season he has agreed to lead the Tartan Touch application with a supporting team.

Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the season in schools' rugby

Caledonia Midlands: Polly Day, Montrose HS

Polly's work within the school has assisted in creating links with the local rugby club in Montrose. This involves the set up and continuation of the rugby achievement programme. Polly also works hard to ensure that the girls are inspired to pick up and continue playing rugby. Polly ensures there are regular tournaments and festivals set up so the girls can get increased game time to heighten their skills and abilities. As Vice Captain of her own team, she knows how to install confidence in those around her, and how to motivate a team well.

The East: Anna Bowman, Leith Academy

Anna helps with the coaching side and all the administration to give the girls as many playing opportunities as possible. She has also travelled all over the East region to take the girls to games and festival in all kinds of weather conditions. Anna helps with the administration side of things as well booking buses, pitches and much more.

Mitsubishi Motors Young volunteer of the season

Caledonia Midlands: Murray Oliver, Kirkcaldy RFC

Murray has been instrumental in supporting rugby not only within his High School but also at the local club. In addition to his rugby involvement he is also a young sports ambassador within the school. Off his own back, he has volunteered to coach the micro section of the club primary school group - the wee blues (children from age 3-5 yrs old). Murray has helped coach and run several school holiday rugby camps for children from P2-P7. He has also completed his level 2 referee qualification - one of the youngest people to do so.

The East: Finlay Hamilton, Duns RFC

Finlay has been consistently involved with both the P6/7 age groups and S1/2 for the past 2 seasons, providing lots of learning opportunities for young players to develop their rugby skills and help with the transition from Mini to Youth rugby. Alongside this he has helped at several Primary School afterschool clubs from P4-7 and has led many of these sessions. Also this season he has gained his Level 1 referee qualification and has been making sure the S1/2 games go ahead by being available to ref these games.

Tennent's Volunteer of the season in adult rugby

Caledonia Midlands: Jimmy Samuel, Bannockburn RFC

Jimmy took up his position in 2019 and has transformed how the team operates, how the team plays and how the club runs. He encourages participation at all levels and invests a great deal of time and effort into the running of the club, the cohesion of the team, and the development of the player.Bannockburn RFC are now playing at a higher standard and in a higher league thanks to the work of Jimmy and the coaches, whom he has also aided in their development. Bannockburn are now aiming for a second successive promotion.

The East: Jim Smith, Leith RFC

Jim is always open to new ideas and is always looking to meet the needs of all the players. He has been influential towards Leith getting 3 senior men’s teams out and continues to support the need to train at Oriam once a week that encourages 50 players a week to training. On top of that he gives players lifts to and from training and travels with the 1st XV, 2nd XV and 3XV no matter where their games are. Jim also sorts out all the kit for the 3 senior teams and helps support and plan club functions to raise funds for the club.

Tennent's Community Club of the Season

Caledonia Midlands: Strathmore RFC

Strathmore has established a women's team over the past year and trialled training for a girl's youth team. Their youth section has also continued to grow reaching record playing and membership numbers. This follows two successful Tartan Touch programmes (Summers 2018 and 2019) which had excellent attendances from club members, friends and family and the wider community. In addition, Strathmore have supported their charitable partner, The Strathmore Rugby Club Community Trust, to run a Rugby Academy for secondary age males and females, a Unified rugby team for adults with learning disabilities (a tri team), autism-friendly rugby sessions for primary age children with autism and walking rugby for the less able. In addition, the club have worked closely with Active Schools and local schools to facilitate matches and training sessions.

The East: Langholm RFC

Langholm Rugby Club have a large team of committed volunteers who work incredibly hard, to not just make the club a success, but to bring about positive change in their local community that has unfortunately suffered great economic loss in recent years. The club has delivered countless initiatives to benefit the sport in their area. They hold over 20 weekly sessions in curricular and extra-curricular periods at Langholm Academy and its associated cluster primary schools and for children of nursery age with “Rugby Tots”. One of the most promising developments is the growth in the girl’s section with over 15 girls attending weekly extra-curricular training sessions. They deliver health related activities for local schools as part of health weeks and as part of the curriculum. Finally, the club started Veteran Touch Rugby Sessions, for both males and females, allowing adults to reap the benefits of social fitness and being more physically active.

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