DEVELOPMENT GOING FORWARD:
Having established Perthshire Rugby Club at the forefront of development in Scotland it is now time to kick things on again and look to the future.
REACT 2 RUGBY has now evolved to the "TRY Rugby" program providing 9 weeks of STRUCTURED rugby to each primary school child from P4 to P7 who are feeding into the main 4 high schools in Perth. The kids will receive 4 weeks of curricular, 1 week of festival and 4 weeks of FREE club rugby. It is our aim though that the after school activity can continue through the recruitment of volunteers and teachers and so building not only a larger pool of younger players but a larger network of volunteers in the region.
As a natural pathway from primary school and mini rugby, Perthshire Rugby Development Team decided to launch and support a Perth and Kinross county wide inter schools league. This is providing competitive rugby, in school for S1 to S4 pupils with each pupil who takes part participating in around 7 fixtures per year. Further to that we are also providing a county wide schools 7's tournament for S1, S2, U16 and Senior levels, again hoping to create a larger pool of players and volunteers throughout Perthshire. One of our largest targets this year is to bring rugby to non traditional rugby schools so to coincide with the launch of the Sports Comprehensive (A combined venture between Perth Grammar and St Johns RC) we helped launch a "Sports Comprehensive" rugby team at S1/2 level. This has shown huge success with all signs pointing to rugby becoming an established sport at the school.
To help aid and strengthen the ranks of the 1st XV in the near and distant future "The Rugby Development Team" are taking steps to establish a sustainable performance pathway from S1 to Senior rugby. Step one of this was to re Launch an academy to suit the needs of the club. The latest incarnation has seen 16 players receive a balanced mix of Strength and Conditioning, Speed Development, Wrestling and Groundwork, Contact Management, Game Management and of course Skill Development. The first candidates are currently in their first year of the academy and already you can see them grow in stature and confidence.
We felt though that a performance academy simply was not enough. Within the next 3 years we hope to launch a "School of Rugby" where kids will receive rugby as part of their school day. These kids will apply to be part of this school and will participate in these curricular performance sessions until they reach S4 level, which is when they will graduate into our performance academy.
Again we felt that these 2 stages were not enough to help their development or transition into senior rugby at Perthshire Rugby Club. This is why also within our 3 year plan we are looking to establish locally a rugby performance college course. Talks are currently under way as to the qualification structure of this course but even in this early stage Perth College seem hopeful and enthusiastic about course of this nature running at their campus.
The SVQ program has become the Modern Apprentiship program but Perthshire Rugby Club is still a leader when it comes to providing a learning centre for these student coaches. We currently have 2 employed at the club who are essentially the face of rugby in our Primary School Program.
Thanks to the hard work put in by Doc McKelvey in his role as Development Officer, the process of selecting future Community Coaches is made easy through the Youth Coaching Course. This course is ran by both the Perthshire Development Officer and the Creiff DO annually and helps recruit around 20 young volunteers who go back to their school's and either coach or referee.
So on the whole developments future looks bright in Perth with systems and structures in place to Recruit - Retain - Retrain, players, volunteers, and coaches for Perthshire Rugby Club.