ELLON Rugby Club looked to its strengths last Saturday when over 200 youngsters turned up the Meadows to see the 35 year old club pick up a Positive Coaching Scotland Accreditation award.
The club has been actively pursuing the award for the last year, completing the scheme last week to become the first club north of Edinburgh to be accredited, and only the sixth to complete the process.
‘’Our junior section has always been the launching pad for Ellon’s successes and here we are making another positive statement,’’ said Gareth Kemp the head junior coach who has masterminded the club’s completion of the accreditation, but supported by his enthusiastic team of coaches.
A key figure in the process was director Bosman de plessis the director of the Edinburgh based scheme who led an inspired workshop for the parents of the junior section.
‘’We aim to promote good attitudes in the game. The self esteem of the youngsters is vital. Helping them develop life skills is just as important as playing and enjoying the game,’’ said de plessis, pointing out that the scheme is supported by the SRU, Winning Scotland, and sportscotland and the Bill McLaren Foundation who are the principal partners.
Representing the foundation was Linda Lawson the daughter of the late Hawick legend who handed the award to club president Richard Porteuos.
Mrs Lawson was accompanied by her husband Alan a vice - president at the SRU and a former Scotland scrum half who won 15 caps for his country in the 1970’s.
The Lawsons gave an impassioned address to the wet, but enthusiastic crowd of youngsters.
‘’I have enjoyed my time in the game, but would like to think I could have done better and given five per cent more. Adopt a can do attitude and be the best you can,’’ said Alan.
President Porteous hailed the day as a great success.’’The hard work and effort behind the scenes and has been excellent. This award reflects well on our coaches and indeed on the whole community,’’ said the former captain and twice president of the club.
The awards ceremony apart the participants enjoyed a fun day despite the rains,while giving a glimpse into the future of the ambitious club.
For Kemp there was a double whammy for the junior co - ordinator who not only brought together the enterprise, but was named as the coach of the year by the Meadows based club.
‘’I am so proud to have been involved, especially as we are once again setting the pace in North - east rugby,’’ said Kemp.