February; the month of rugby. The biggest tournament in Northern Hemisphere rugby kicks off in possibly the tightest competition to date and more importantly, the Clan’s rugby season begins. This month we kicked off with our first National training sessions ahead of the big year ahead. These training sessions proved a big success, with growing numbers and players coming together from all the regions.
On Sun 19th Feb, The Clan descended on Corstorphine Rugby Club for the first training session of the season. We would like to say thank you to our hosts for their hospitality. The training was well attended with people from all regions of Scotland in attendance. Our Coach and Head Chef for the day, Eddie Wilson, ensured that we were all fed after the game and Jamie updated the Clan on the exciting upcoming developments.
On Sat 2nd March, the training session was held at West of Scotland in Glasgow. We got a warm welcome from our great hosts, with special appreciation for the home made lentil soup after a cold and wet session. There was a great attendance and always encouraging to see new faces. The terrible weather did not stop us from fielding two teams to have some game play. Unfortunately, the decision has had to be made to cancel the Swansea match on Saturday 9th as we cannot safely field a team at this point. There is a lot of interest out there to get involved with the Clans and a lot of recruitment events planned for the summer. Let’s all work together to get people involved with the Clan either playing or volunteering, making sure everyone knows about us and what it is like to be part of the Clan!
In regards to our other national team currently fighting their way through the Six Nations, some of our TeamWorX participants and Clan players attended the Scotland Open Training Session hosted by our friend Al Kellock at Clydebank Community Sports Centre. They all had a great time watching the players train and getting plenty of signatures along the way. This is also just a reminder that you can purchase tickets for any Edinburgh or Glasgow games via the link below, and the commission will be donated to us!
tri are continually expanding throughout Scotland and beyond. This month we have hosted taster sessions with Strathmore who are building their Clan by the minute. We were overwhelmed by the support and welcome from those at Strathmore will feed into the Caley Clan once they are up and running. Their first official fixture will be against the Caley Clan on Saturday 16th March at Strathmore RFC so head down to support both the teams.
We also have a taster session and match scheduled for the 23rd March at Dunfermline which will showcase a game between the Caley Clan and the Edinburgh Clan.
Our regional training sessions are going very well, with great attendance across all regions as we recruit more sessional coaches along the way. A special note must be made to the Glasgow Clan who have recently partnered with the Glasgow Alphas for their training sessions every Tuesday. Adam Harrison, founder and coach at the Alphas, commented saying: “On behalf of the Alphas, it is an honour to train alongside similar rugby projects/teams, in which we get the opportunity to open the sport to more constituents. It’s a fantastic set-up and it’s great meeting the clansmen here in Glasgow, and we look forward to getting the opportunity to be enablers in their games”.
We are very grateful to train with another rugby team that shares our values of inclusivity and diversity.
Beyond Scotland, our clans in both Spain and New Zealand are growing everyday. Spain have had a really busy start to the year. On 12th January they ran an Enablers Course for the “Federación Rugby Comunidad Valenciana” and “Federación Española de Rugby” which was held in Valencia. 31 people attended the course and there was an amazing atmosphere with a huge interest in learning about inclusion through sport. Tecnidex Valencia Rugby Club acted as host and took everybody back to their club house for lunch. They are now the fourth team up and running in our area, which means we have four Unified Rugby teams only 30m away by car. The next day they played a tournament in Valencia hosted by Tatami Rugby Club where people who attended the course on the Saturday were able to get a taste of a real match. It was a fun morning for everyone and they managed to create a lot of expectation in the capital city.
On 18th January, they were honored to receive an award from “Ayuntamiento de Cullera”, the local Council of Cullera, for our work in inclusion and sport at the “Gala del Deporte”. All our team went up to receive the diploma alongside the best in each sport of the town.
Our new group from the “IVASS Centre Ocupacional Mare de Deu del Castell” is growing fast and is regularly training on Tuesdays. Two of these players, Antonio and Erica, have started to train with “El Clan” at the weekends. We are incredibly proud of what they have achieved.
On 5th February we signed the agreement with the Lord Mayor, Jordi Mayor, which allows us to run the “III Festival Internacional de Rugby Inclusivo Ciudad de Cullera”, from the 6th to the 9th September 2019. The financial support of the council is vital to allow us to host this event. This will be a great motivation for the teams both in Spain and in Scotland to work towards.
Also, on the 9th February we joined our friends from Abelles Rugby Club and we visited Zaragoza, to meet their newly created unified rugby team, Bantierra Fenix. We all enjoyed a great trip with a lot of laughter and rugby played in the true Spirit. We hope to see them soon in Cullera very soon.
We also look forward to hearing more from New Zealand as they progress in the upcoming months.
Our female team is starting to shape up as we are beginning to partner with Project 51 who aim to get more young girls in sport. We have been invited to watch the Scotland Women train and play on the 7th and 8th of March, which will hopefully give us more motivation to drive this team forward.
Asides from rugby, our triWorX team are starting their new curriculum this month in partnership with Glasgow City Building. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to partner with a such a socially responsible organisation that also prioritises helping to develop individuals. Our team will complete basic certified training courses in joinery, plumbing and electrics.
We also hired two of our current players, Josh Nisbet and Stephen Rushford, as Unified Activities Development Coaches. They work over three areas Rugby – supporting our coaches and organising kit; TeamWorx – mentoring others on the programme and tri-WorX, our unified work team. It is great to have them on-board and they have already made a great impact through their work.