Papa Johns Tartan Touch delivers record number of hubs for 2022
Scottish Rugby has announced the return of the popular non-contact rugby programme, Tartan Touch, after a two-season hiatus due to covid-19.
Following the new partnership between Scottish Rugby and Papa Johns which was launched last month, this season the programme will be know as ‘Papa Johns Tartan Touch’, with the pizza delivery brand proudly working to support rugby communities in Scotland.
Running between May and July, Tartan Touch is designed to provide a simplified version of rugby with the aim of attracting players of all abilities, ages and levels of experience who are looking to improve their fitness through simple and social activity.
This year’s programme will see 63 clubs operate as Tartan Touch hubs throughout the summer, with a record number of successful applicants being chosen, including 19 newly-established hubs.
Each Tartan Touch Hub will be supported by their Regional Manager and Scottish Rugby’s Tartan Touch Operational Team.
Support will include provision of kit and equipment to help transform the club into a Tartan Touch hub as well as marketing support including a Tartan Touch nationwide marketing campaign and a promotional toolkit.
Since 2018 the number of hubs in clubs across Scotland has doubled from 30 to over 60, and previous seasons of the programme have seen hubs across the country welcome over 4,000 players aged 5 to 75 years old from having never played rugby to retired players.
Dumfries based Annan Rugby Club first became a Tartan Touch hub in 2018, and Development Officer, Nicole Barlow is looking forward to its return, saying: “Everyone at Annan Rugby Club is really excited to see the return of Papa Johns Tartan Touch this year. Prior to Covid it was one of the biggest summer events, with often over 100 players coming along to get involved.
“We love Tartan Touch because it’s something which the whole local community can get involved with as it’s such a safe, fun-filled, family activity.”
The regional spread of hubs is also now greater than ever before with all five Scottish Rugby Regions represented. New hubs include: Banff, Ellon, Mackie, University of the Highlands and Islands in Partnerships with Highland Rugby Club, Crieff & Strathearn, Mclaren, Aberfeldy, Bo'ness, Falkirk, Glenrothes, Cambuslang, Islay, Edinburgh BATs, Forrester, North Berwick, Musselburgh, Hawick and Lasswade.
Ellon Rugby Club are one of the Tartan Touch hubs participating for the first time.
Ellon Rugby Club Chairman, Andy Gordon said: “We are delighted to become a Papa Johns Tartan Touch Hub in Caledonia North this year. Introducing the game of rugby to a broad range of skills, abilities and backgrounds across our community is what Ellon Rugby have been supporting since inception 45 years ago.
“Benefiting community and club, the members at our club are delighted to be a hub for the fun, simple and social version of rugby that Tartan Touch is, aligned with our own core values of inclusive, immersive and enjoyable rugby for all.”
Scottish Rugby Director of Rugby Development, Gav Scott said, “It’s really pleasing to see more clubs than ever before taking part in our Tartan Touch programme, especially following a two-year interval. To see that clubs are still keen to return year after year, while others are excited to get on board is great news for the game in Scotland.
“Tartan Touch is an excellent way for clubs to connect with their local community, and allow people from all ages, abilities and backgrounds enjoy the physical and mental benefits of playing rugby in a fun and inclusive environment."
“We’re of course delighted to welcome Papa Johns as the programme’s title sponsor this year, and we look forward to working with them to support our rugby communities across the country.”
Speaking on the announcement, Giles Codd, Senior Director of Marketing at Papa Johns UK said: “The Tartan Touch programme is a fantastic way of keeping people engaged in rugby regardless of ability, age or gender. Our recent partnership with Scottish Rugby has given us an amazing opportunity to come along on this journey and witness first-hand the difference that projects like this one can make to local communities.
“We are so proud to be the first ever title sponsor and cannot wait to see the brilliant work continue from Tartan Touch Hubs all over Scotland.”
For more information please visit Papa Johns Tartan Touch
Papa Johns Tartan Touch hubs 2022
Caledonia Midlands: Crieff & Strathearn*, Carnoustie HSFP, Perthshire, Strathmore, Dunfermline, Strathendrick, Kinross, Mclaren*, Dundee, Aberfeldy*, Panmure, Kirkcaldy, Bo’ness*, Howe of Fife, Falkirk* and Glenrothes*.
Caledonia North: Stornoway, Banff*, Caithness, Deeside, Ellon*, Mackie*, Shetland, Moray, University of the Highlands and Islands in Partnerships with Highland Rugby Club* and Garioch
East Region: Hadddington, Dalkeith, Berwick, Edinburgh BATs*, Dunbar, Linlithgow, Forrester*, Leith, Lismore, Gala, North Berwick*, Currie Chieftains, Musselburgh*, Kelso, Peebles, Jed Thistle, Selkirk, Penicuick, Hawick*, Portobello and Lasswade*.
Glasgow North: GHA, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Oban Lorne, Cambuslang*, Whitecraigs, Cartha Queen’s Park, Strathaven, Islay*, Waysiders Drumpellier, Hillhead Jordanhill, Biggar and Uddingston
Glasgow South: Greenock Wanderers, Annan, Paisley
*Denotes new Tartan Touch hub