Edinburgh Rugby’s Front Row Steve Lawrie and Centre, James King visited Hawick High School on Wednesday 14 March as part of the School of Rugby programme which is supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
The CashBack for Communities funded programme will offer a catalyst to motivate and develop some of Scotland’s young people. It also aims to create an environment where sport makes a significant contribution to the delivery of “A Curriculum for Excellence,” playing a central role in the life of the school.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), which sponsors Scottish Rugby, has developed a nutritional programme in association with the School of Rugby. Jennifer Robertson, Health and Education Coordinator and qualified dietician, commented on how the workshop builds on the QMS existing health and education programme.
She said: “As everyone plays the QMS Proteens Quiz, pupils will also have an opportunity to ask the player about his diet, the part red meat plays in his meal plans and the nutritional benefits it provides.
“The highlight of our visit is the “wrap challenge” where the player and some of the pupils are tested to see how much they have remembered as they make healthy tortilla wraps with the range of ingredients on offer. The trick is to choose the healthy option!”
Miss Little, Depute Headteacher in charge of School of Rugby at Hawick High School said: “I am absolutely delighted with the way the School of Rugby programme has enhanced the strong junior rugby playing base at the school and continued to uphold the tradition that has been evident in Hawick and the Scottish Borders over the decades.”
“We now regularly train U13 & U14 teams with 46 players across S1 and S2 taking part, including some girls playing at U15 level down in Langholm. The opportunities our pupils get to participate in rugby are thanks largely to the unstinting effort, drive and determination of the many staff members, nine in total, who give up their time and the support we receive from Rocky Johnstone from Hawick RFC. We have also started to work closely with Hawick Albion to build bridges and make a strong link to local community rugby for the pupils to look to in the future.”
“Within the School, I am able to draw on support from a wide range of staff, former pupils and local rugby players which delivers an experience for our young people which is quite outstanding. From values to nutrition, skills to fitness, the boys and girls have made significant progress both on and off the pitch.”
“One of the unique features of our structure at Hawick is the fact that we use nine different staff to deliver the School of Rugby Model, which gives it great balance and progression using specialists in their own areas.”
“Mr Peter Hannay, a behaviour support teacher at the school, has worked tirelessly to make sure the boys and girls in S1 are attending sessions and playing games. He has contributed significantly to the continuity of provision and enabled us to include such a healthy number of young people in the sport.”
“For him, the most significant aspect of the School of Rugby programme is the fact that it has helped to increase awareness amongst our pupils of the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and associated aspects, such as the importance of diet, positive attitude, resilience and determination.”
“I am also convinced that the introduction of the programme is having an impact on the general ethos of the school as it undoubtedly helps to develop a more positive attitude in general with individual pupils, some of whom would certainly be tempted to opt for alternative lifestyle choices if it were not for the commitment of Hawick High School to providing a breadth of opportunities and interests for all our pupils; including the rugby provision within the school.”
Scottish Rugby’s Head of Community Rugby, Colin Thomson said: “Scottish Rugby believe that school sport plays an important role in the education of youngsters.
“Through the School of Rugby initiative we aim to develop youngsters into confident and competent individuals, showing the positive impact sport has on them and on the school communities they come from. “So far we have established partnerships with 18 schools in Scotland, all of varying playing levels, who have committed to establishing and developing this initiative in their school community. “We believe passionately that, by working with the education sector and the selected schools, we will demonstrate the educational benefits of rugby to young people and their communities.”
The initiative will provide a context for learning inside and outside of the classroom, allowing all pupils to experience rugby, and improve their fitness and physical literacy. This in turn will contribute to an enhanced educational experience in each of the participating schools.
Each School of Rugby will be supported with a package of resources, enabling more staff to deliver a thriving rugby programme across the school including a focused curricular programme for a number of S1 pupils.
The broad rugby programme consists of rugby teams of all ages, opportunities for the development of girls’ teams and non-playing opportunities for senior pupils, in rugby coaching, refereeing, volunteering and running sport in local primary schools and rugby clubs.
Caption: Edinburgh Rugby players James King, (centre left) and Steve Lawrie (centre right) taking part in the wrap challenge