Caledonia North, Glasgow North and Glasgow South Regional Award Winners

Caledonia North, Glasgow North and Glasgow South Regional Award Winners

The 2020 Scottish Rugby Development Award winners from Caledonia North, Glasgow North and Glasgow South have been announced today.

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. Award ceremonies were held digitally on two of the regions respective Facebook pages, Caledonia North and Glasgow North in light of current coronavirus restrictions. Glasgow South used Facebook to announce their winners also.

Awards winners were announced for 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.

Glasgow North Regional Director Peter Burgon said:

“We're incredibly proud of all of our winners, indeed all of our nominees. The commitment and passion that came through the nomination submissions was inspirational, we feel very lucky to have so many incredible volunteers across the region"

Glasgow South’s Regional Director Jennifer Griffin said:

“We want to take this opportunity congratulate our Glasgow South Regional Award Winners and thank them for their significant contribution to the game. Although we had to postpone our recognition evening for now, we look forward to celebrating with all the winners in the near future. These individuals and clubs have had a considerable impact on our rugby communities, and I am delighted that they have been recognised.

The Glasgow South Team would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit a nomination for the Regional Awards and for shining a light on those who continue to go above and beyond for our game. We are fortunate to have so many fantastic, hardworking and committed volunteers in our region who willingly give their time and effort to clubs and schools across Glasgow South”

Caledonia North Regional Director Chris Hildrey said:

“Working with all volunteers in clubs throughout Caledonia North has been a privilege this season and we are constantly humbled by the incredible commitment and quality they apply to keep the game going. The winners completely typify this and we really can’t offer enough thanks to them, and all those who support rugby in Caledonia North, for the time and effort they put in.”

The respective AWARD WINNERS are listed below:

Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Season in Youth Rugby

Caledonia North: Mike Fraser, Deeside RFC

Mike has taken his son's age group from minis (primary 4) to U18. The team have grown and developed through this time and now has several players at FOSROC Academy level, including one level 3 contract player. The team won the U18 Lancer Conference league this year. Mike has developed his coaching and is UKCC level 2. He works with the local Active Schools coordinator to develop a club outreach programme for rugby training in the primary schools and to get the U18s to combine at Banchory and Aboyne academies to enter the Schools cup. Mike has also moved from Mini Coordinator to Club coaching coordinator and he has helped to mentor and encourage new coaches and develop training programmes for them.

Glasgow North: Stephen Running, Cartha Queens Park RFC

Stephen has undertaken the Junior Director of Rugby role at Cartha for the 8th season in a row. He checks pitches and organises a rota of 7 teams on Wednesday nights and 12 junior teams on Sundays. He drove and still flies the flag of PCS within the club, encouraging all teams to maximise game time for all, play every fixture they can, no matter the designation. He has driven the girls’ section to be one of the most successful in Scotland with constant support and guidance. He has even retained his referee society membership to pull his boots on to ensure that lack of referee should never be an issue. He has been a massive driver in youth rugby across the region, attending all meetings, reaching out to other clubs to foster the same mentality.

Glasgow South: Gordon Keith, Wigtownshire RFC

Gordon has created a P1-7 section from scratch and Wigtownshire RFC now have over 100 participants on a weekly basis, as well as spearheading the club to have a Girls U18 section that now has 40 people training, 3 times a week and developing the U16/U18 boys’ section from failing to field a team to having 22 players playing weekly. Gordon has also inspired no less than 30 parents of the club to undertake their coaching badges or encouraged them to become more involved with the club. He is dedicated, kind and patient and even though he works full-time, he jumps in to take buses to away fixtures, covers training sessions and is there to help with any issues whether it be rugby related or personal. Gordon is the epitome of what a volunteer for a rugby club should be.

Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Season in Schools' Rugby

Glasgow North: Laura Luedke, St Pauls

Two years ago Laura started to develop rugby at St Paul’s High School with four boys and two girls. She led and drove a joint partnership between PE, Active Schools, Rugby Development and Cartha Rugby Club.The programme has consisted of Primary curriculum delivery and extra-curricular coaching, Secondary curriculum delivery/ leadership qualifications and extra-curricular coaching with access to a competition and event pathway. She has also linked with Cartha Rugby Club allowing pupils the opportunity to experience rugby out with their school environment. The school are now competing in National tournaments.

Glasgow South: Scott Anderson, Carrick Academy/Carrick RFC

Scott volunteers with the youth rugby set-up at Carrick Academy, and has been a player at Carrick RFC from S1 to Senior and still plays regularly. Scott has the respect of the younger children, parents & carers as well as the club committee members, and his involvement as a familiar face has encouraged others to join and crucially remain involved with youth rugby. He gives up his weekends to play, coach and organise the youth set-up and continually demonstrates the values of the game with his positive attitude, inspiring behaviour and the example that he sets for young players as a sportsman and as an individual.

No entrants for Caledonia North

Mitsubishi Motors Young Volunteer of the Season

Glasgow North: Alasdair McConnell, Allan Glen's

Alasdair has been involved at Allan Glens all of his 22 years. The values of rugby are instilled in his attitude on and off the park and he is a valuable advert for community rugby in Scotland.

Glasgow South: Ben Latimer, Annan RFC

Ben is an excellent role model for young people both within the club and wider community. He is currently an U16 player, assists with coaching the mini section at training & festivals after taking the initiative to ask to join the PVG scheme, and has recently been accepted into the referee society after passing his World Rugby Level 1 referee course. He has also assisted the Club in the delivery of School Holiday Rugby Camps, Tartan Touch, club fundraisers & RugbyForce. He displays and excellent work ethic and willingness to develop. Ben is a very engaging young man who displays the values and his enjoyment of the game on a weekly basis, whether that be through playing, his involvement in coaching the mini teams or refereeing or just generally helping out around the club in terms of respect, leadership, achievement.

No entrants for Caledonia North.

Tennent's Volunteer of the Season in Adult Rugby

Caledonia North: Stephan Walker, Ross Sutherland RFC

This season Stephan has been focussing on the development and long-term sustainability of the club. He established the new Ross Sutherland Rugby Club SCIO, recruiting trustees along the way and gaining valuable charitable status for the club. Stephan has also orchestrated the development of “Route 100”; the Ross Sutherland vision and strategy for the next few years as we move towards our centenary in 2023. In addition, Stephan has continued with the practical support he offers the club: line management support to the Rugby Development Officer; core financial management of the ongoing clubhouse development project; and continued coordination of membership and management and oversight of SCRUMS.

Glasgow North: Jim Adams, Allan Glen's

If it wasn't for Jim, Allan Glen's home games would struggle to go ahead. From getting to the club early, setting the pitches up, removing water from any flooded areas and making sure all the strips have been washed and returned for the following weeks games - senior and junior. Jim is also the senior club team manager and keeps all players up to speed on training, match day and club events. He is a dedicated club man and never looks for any praise or thanks. His contribution to the club goes back 30+ years from playing the game, volunteering to coach the youth teams and now working alongside those same players as team manager.

Glasgow South: Martin Wallace, Newton Stewart RFC

Martin has been head coach for NSRFC for the past five years, and his drive and commitment has instilled a team ethos and culture of respect in his players. His passion for rugby as well as his high expectations and work ethic has encouraged the team to step-up, and has developed a young squad who are holding their own in the National 2 Division as well as encouraging more players to continue their rugby journeys. Martin has played rugby for NSRFC since he was 16 and even now at the age of 41, he still regularly plays for the team. He is a hard-working farmer, with a wife that has just set up her own vet practice and has 3 young children but still finds the time to coach his beloved NSRFC

Tennent's Community Rugby Club of the Season

Caledonia North: Mackie Academy FP RFC

The club prides itself on how it can offer to and accommodate a vast majority of the community. They have two hashtags they go by, #oneclub #clubforthecommunity. Mackie Academy FP RFC don't only offer rugby to p1 to adult players, they now run a girls only session for P6 to S4 players alongside a women’s ‘rugbyfit’ programme for any female who wants to get fit in the rugby environment. They have a good relationship with the secondary schools throughout the region, offering afterschool training at each school and festivals and games for the secondaries to take part in. They also have a good bond with every primary school, offering taster sessions throughout the year every year to them all. Mackie have one of the largest youth/minis sections going and the numbers keep growing.The club run an academy programme, offering development sessions for S1 to U18 players. Through these age grades players will get speed agility work, strength and conditioning work, skills development, yoga, mindfulness, health and wellbeing, coaching qualifications and nutrition talks. As a whole, the club work tirelessly to offer so much to their community and players.

Glasgow North: Biggar RFC

Biggar RFC has always been a community club operating as it does in Clydesdale in the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire.Providing opportunities to play rugby regardless of sex, age or experience has been its main aim since the club's inception in 1975. The club offers senior rugby, ladies rugby, Girls and Boys Youth rugby (encompassing all age grades), Mini rugby, micro rugby and Biggar Bairns for pre-school aged children. In total this adds up to 19 teams and potentially 300 individuals. Add in coaches, 1st Aiders, team managers and supporters (Biggar enjoys a very numerous and faithful support at all games, at all ages home or away) and it is easy to see how much an impact the club has on the local population. In summer the club has been a Tartan Touch venue for 3 seasons, attracting over 100 participants on a weekly basis. Their pitch development completed in 2015 was based on attracting other supports and has been incredibly successful in this respect. As a result of increased accessibility and other initiatives and the increase in participation, SLC now operate the local Sports Hub from Biggar RFC. Biggar RFC has a prominent place within the Community and its influence now stretches beyond that of the existing Biggar High catchment with players travelling distances to avail themselves of the quality facilities and coaching on offer.The club operates a sports-related Charity Shop on the High Street which has proven to be an ideal base from which to sell club merchandise whilst also providing an outlet for locals and visitors to shop.

Glasgow South: Bishopton RFC

Bishopton Rugby offers rugby to all junior members on a voluntary payment basis to ensure that rugby is available throughout the community. They also work with parents in regard to donating playing equipment/clothing in lieu of payment so that the club can offer a “boot bin” which ensures all children are able to participate. As a result, they have a vibrant micro section of 45 children, as well as 40 children in the P4-7 group. The club child protection officer works with parents of children with additional needs to ensure that they get the maximum opportunity to grow and enjoy rugby to the fullest possible extent. Furthermore, the club Development Officer has so far delivered over 200 hours of free rugby to local school children.

The club hold an annual fundraising event for the club charity, the Matthew Seymour Memorial Trust. This work helps to ensure that every Bishopton player between the age of 14-25 has the opportunity for a free heart screening and has allowed over 1,000 people to be screen for heart issues for free since Matthew’s death 5 years ago.

They continue to look at how they can make rugby more accessible for all and live by their motto of ‘Where any player can be great’.

Watch Caledonia North's awards revealed below:

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