DUNFERMLINE’S under-16 boy’s players are currently dressed to impress out in Italy after the team at Macron Sports Hub Edinburgh/Colin Campbell Sports designed bespoke Macron playing and off field kit for the exciting trip.
The McKane Park youngsters left last Friday and will be in Italy until October 19th, representing Fife and Scotland wearing the new kit.
Scott Mckenzie from Colin Campbell Sports explained: “When we were approached by Dunfermline we knew that Macron Sports Hub Edinburgh would be the right fit for their tour kit supply.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Ben Mallinson from the club over the past few months to create the bespoke match kit designs, as well as curating a training range to suit the club.
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“Ben had some great ideas for the designs and we then worked together to customise the style, colours and logo positions, before passing on to the experts at Macron HQ to bring the designs to life.
“Ourselves and Macron are proud of the quality kit supplied to Dunfermline for their tour and we hope the team enjoy wearing the kit and representing their club while in Italy.”
A group of 30 youngsters are on the tour and taccompanied by a batch of coaches, including former Scotland cap Derrick Lee. In game one on Sunday, they defeated Rangers Rugby Vicenza 31-24 after an entertaining encounter and, on Wednesday, they are set to play Villorba Rugby.
The tour, which has been organised thanks to a lot of work by Nikki Cunningham, started in Verona and will take in a number of other venues including Lake Garda, Treviso and Venice.
The players are also set to benefit from a special coaching session under the watchful eye of former Italy captain and current Benetton head coach Marco Bortolami.
“For a number of years we have been keen to take the under-16s from the club on a tour, but with things like the pandemic, everything was delayed,” lead coach Dave Mallinson from Dunfermline said.
“However, this season we were in a position to get this off the ground and when the opportunity came to go to Italy via Sky High Sports we thought it seemed like the perfect fit.
“Obviously, there is a big cost that goes along with such a trip, so the youngsters themselves and their parents have been fund raising while we have secured sponsorship from national and local companies.
“The support we have had from everyone has been great and the kit from Colin Campbell Sports has been a real hit amongst the boys.”
Mallinson, who is from down south originally, has been involved with the Dunfermline club for the last 30 years. After a stint living in Hong Kong, the family relocated to Fife and his son Ben, who now is one of the coaches of the under-16 team and will be on the tour too, began playing in the minis section.
“I had played rugby when I was younger, but had not been involved with the sport for a while until Ben decided he wanted to give it a go,” Mallinson recounted. “He joined the primary fours and I soon became involved in coaching and took that team right through to under-18 level.
“I then had a bit of a break before coaching a second team from primary four level to under-16. Ben, who played for Dunfermline from primary four up to the senior section, was then approached to coach a primary three team a few years ago and asked if I’d be keen to be involved alongside him.
“I did that and that group is now the current under-16 squad who we are taking to Italy. This squad has done really well in recent years including winning the Caledonia under-15 Cup last season and five of the team have been with us since those primary three days, so that is quite nice.
“There is a great sense of satisfaction seeing players grow up as the years go by and developing their rugby.
“The boys are really excited about the tour and it is great to be taking on Italian opponents, taking in the local culture and representing Dunfermline further afield.”