SCOTTISH RUGBY is running its inaugural ‘Schools Week’ starting today [Monday] aimed at reaching both primary and secondary school pupils through a blend of digital and in-person support.
The initiative, which is being supported by Saltire Energy, has 234 schools signed up and the principal aim is to reach new kids as well as re-engage those who may have floated away from the game during the pandemic.
“Whilst the last year has been tough for everyone, it has been especially so for young people,” said Gavin Scott, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby Development. “Sport plays a vital role in the mental and physical wellbeing for people of all ages and abilities.
“It is our hope that Scottish Rugby Schools Week will support the wellbeing of those involved and allow more young people to enjoy the benefits of rugby. It is an inclusive sport where there is a place for everyone, no matter their gender, ability or level of fitness.
“I am really encouraged by the number of schools taking part, especially those who will be introducing rugby to pupils for the first time. Whilst we had previously hoped to deliver more activities in person, the support on offer is an excellent stepping-stone into the game.”
Scottish Rugby received a £15m grant and a £5m low-interest loan from the Scottish Government last December intended “to assist rugby clubs and organisations across Scotland in dealing with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
In April, the sport’s governing body unveiled a support package for the grassroots game worth up to £6.5million over the next five years.
To meet the challenges presented by Covid-19, the Schools Weeks programme will be mainly delivered digitally to support teachers in offering practical and classroom-based rugby activities, including:
- An Education Pack with an introduction to rugby, game activity cards, curriculum activities for the classroom, and player welfare concussion awareness digital poster.
- Regionally delivered webinars on an ‘Introduction to Rugby’ to provide all school leads knowledge and confidence to deliver activity in their school, plus daily webinars to watch on-demand via Scottishrugby.org expanding on areas of the game.
- The digital resources have been designed specifically to enable schools to facilitate rugby activity to any age group, irrelevant of playing and coaching experience.
- A handful events including festivals of rugby and training sessions with local rugby clubs and Development Officers will be delivered where local authorities allow external engagements and school-mixing. It is hoped these events will strengthen relationships and partnerships between schools and rugby clubs moving forward.
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