Rugby set for a 'Kick Start' with new funding & activity from Scottish Rugby
Scottish Rugby has today confirmed the launch of the ‘Kick Start’ Grant scheme as part of the Return to Rugby fund, which is now taking applications from clubs and societies for up to £7,500 to help with the reintroduction of rugby, which has taken a further positive step forward this week with a further easing of lockdown restrictions for sport in Scotland.
The ‘Kick Start’ Grant supports club and referee society plans to recruit and retain players, coaches, volunteers, match officials and support staff.
Applicants will be able to utilise funding for all manner of projects, including rugby camps, open days and equipment hire, between June 2021 and May 2022.
Along with supporting clubs and societies to re-engage with audiences, Scottish Rugby has also confirmed the launch of a one-off Club U20s programme this summer, with a view to supporting young adults’ transition into adult rugby for the 2021/22 season.
Taking into account the impact which over a year of coronavirus restrictions may have had on young players, male and female, now aged between 18 and 20, Scottish Rugby acknowledge that the step up from youth to senior level rugby for these players is an area of which needs specific attention.
The provision of Scottish Rugby’s grassroots club U20s programme is to provide a managed environment which gives young adults the chance to build upon their experience through regional playing opportunities to ensure their readiness ahead of adult rugby competition commencing later in the year.
Director of Rugby Development, Sheila Begbie MBE said: “As we emerge from the impact of the pandemic, it’s important that clubs across Scotland are able to access these vital funds to reset, recover and rebuild. The Return to Rugby fund is designed to have a lasting impact on growth and participation in the community game in Scotland.
“It’s also important that we keep players aged between 18 and 20 engaged in rugby. Whilst the last year has been tough for everyone, it has been especially so for young people. I hope that young players across the country will enjoy the opportunity to get a head start on game time via the U20 programme after such a long time away from the game.”
Subject to Scottish Government restrictions and in line with the Scottish Rugby Return to Rugby Framework, the programme is projected to run between late July and late August.
In the interim, in line with the Scottish Government announcement on 11 May, Scottish Rugby welcomes the news of further easing of restrictions which will allow adult players in the domestic game to recommence with touch rugby activity on Monday 17 May, the first time since October 2020.
Other changes coming into effect include full contact training and external friendly fixtures for children in Primary 4 to 7, and full contact training and internal fixtures for children aged between 12 and 17.
Heralding these latest changes, Scottish Rugby’s Head of Training & Education Neil Graham said: “We are so pleased to be able to issue updated guidance to our clubs which allows rugby to return to its best position since before the pandemic began.
“We will continue to work closely with the Scottish Government and sportscotland to provide relevant updates to our Return to Rugby guidance in line with any changes.
“But for now we’re really look forward to watching rugby come back to life across the country!”