Royal Marines support young Scottish players

Royal Marines support young Scottish players

Scottish Rugby recently benefited from its association with the Royal Marines with sessions for selected players from the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy and the Scottish Futures programme.

The unique relationship with the Royal Marines has been ongoing since 2015 and along with the annual specialised sessions targeted at individual player improvement, players from within Scottish Rugby’s programmes have all had the opportunity to benefit from similar sessions which took on a team focus.

This season’s partnership has been targeted at a younger age group than previously to introduce the players to these learning opportunities earlier in their performance pathway.

The primary focus was to support Scottish Rugby’s target of enhancing the high-performance behaviours and environments for players and staff of the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy and Scottish Futures programme and learn how the Royal Marines impart their world-renowned culture, values and standards as part of their constant drive for excellence.

The sessions provided an opportunity for players and staff to learn about the Royal Marines ethos as a high-performance organisation and how these learnings can transfer into the high-performance rugby environment.

The players took part in two full days of learning which took place at 43 Commando (Cdo) in Faslane and 45Cdo at Arbroath, with the programme focused on the individual.

A player was picked by The Royal Marines from each session to receive the Commando Medal for the player that portrayed best the Commando mindset, spirit and values through the day in each of the challenges.

These included amphibious assault course training at Faslane, beach based physical challenges at Lunan Bay, classroom presentations by Major Sam Hughes from 45 Commando, Major Michael Bell and Sgt Marv Thomas at 43 Commando and various leadership challenges.

These awards went to Scottish Futures U20 players Eve Thomson at 43 Commando and Shona Campbell at 45 Commando.

Scottish Rugby Performance Projects and Talent ID Manager Grant McKelvey said: “Our young aspiring FOSROC Academy and Scottish Futures players were given a unique opportunity to learn from our Royal Marine Partners at 43Cdo and 45Cdo. They learnt how to develop their individual leadership, how to instil and maintain elite standards and how those behaviours and personal standards can positively impact their own teams, their team-mates and lastly themselves.

“With more focused sessions planned in the future this was very much an introduction into the Royal Marines mindset, spirit & values. What we would like to see is that the key learnings from this opportunity are now used in the players own rugby environments, either at club, school or representative level to drive standards collectively.”

Major Sam Hughes Royal Marines, OC X-Ray Company, 45 Cdo Gp, RM Condor said “Having the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy and Scottish Futures players come to 45 Commando Royal Marines was a real privilege. We have built an excellent relationship with Scottish Rugby, and over the past 18 months have hosted Scotland Women, Scotland U20’s, and both male and female Academy players here at RM Condor, Arbroath.

“It offers a great opportunity to share valuable lessons between two organisations who both pride themselves on strong ethos, values and leadership - essential building blocks for any elite team.

“On an individual level there are many cross overs between being a rugby player and being a Commando, such as the importance of decision making, judgment, determination and courage – all of which are explored during these hugely valuable training packages. We were hugely impressed by the player’s work ethic and their team dynamic.”

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