Young coach helps Duns win prestigious award

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DUNS have been urged to continue building on the “fantastic ethos” at the club after being recognised by the SRU for its progress at all levels and age groups.

Due to the hard work of a 19-year-old coach and an army of willing volunteers, Duns have become the latest rugby club to win the Bill McLaren Foundation Positive Coaching Scotland accreditation.

Robert Grigg, the youngest programme leader to date, from the seven clubs who have earned the prestigious award, along with club development officer David Hutchison, shepherded the club through the course and helped them to create an ethos whereby the “hidden potential” of everyone on and off the field within the club is fulfilled through dedication, enjoyment and team spirit.

Duns president Tom Thorburn, said: “We’re very grateful to our young coach, Robert Grigg and club development officer David Hutchison for taking the helm of this project and driving it forward

“This is a major milestone for our club, and we are very proud to be one of only a handful of clubs to attain this award from Positive Coaching Scotland. The award is going to give a much improved experience to all those already involved, as well as all the new players and volunteers we look forward to joining us in the future.

Hutchison, said: “This award is going to really pull the club together. I feel this award is going to help give all those involved, whether a player or volunteer, a real sense of belonging.

“I’m very proud to be a part of Duns Rugby Club which is going from strength to strength in all areas, and I look forward to teaching our new club values to our youth section this coming season.”

The Positive Coaching Scotland programme in association with The Bill McLaren Foundation operates as a partnership between sportscotland, the Winning Scotland Foundation, the Bill McLaren Foundation and Scottish Rugby and has the main aims to build and sustain a strong and positive rugby culture in order to develop young rugby players and develop young people through the sport. This programme forms part of sportscotland’s national roll-out of the Positive Coaching Scotland programme through governing bodies and local authorities.

Bosman Du Plessis, who is spearheading the SRU’s Positive Coaching Scotland, was full of praise for the club when he and SRU president Alan Lawson presented Duns president Tom Thorburn with the club’s accreditation plaque.

As part of a day of celebration at the Hardens, over 50 young players took part in a summer coaching camp courtesy of the club coaches and Du Plessis chaired a parents meeting with more than 30 mums and dads who attended to give them an insight into what the club has been doing over the summer to improve their coaching standard and club values.

After the camp, the young players put on their new Scottish rugby T-shirts and listened to SRU president Alan Lawson and his wife Linda congratulating the club on its fantastic achievement.

Thorburn was presented with the accreditation plaque, which will soon be proudly displayed in the clubhouse. The presentation was witnessed by over 100 club supporters and players.

Tommy Boyle, the man who did all the pioneering work for PCS said: “On behalf of the Winning Scotland Foundation, I congratulate Duns RFC on becoming the second club in the Borders to achieve the Bill McLaren PCS Accreditation.

“We would encourage the leaders, coaches, and parents of the club to continue to build on the fantastic ethos which currently exists and reinforce those values by utilising the power of the positive coaching programme to its absolute maximum.

“Clubs like Duns RFC are absolutely fundamental to maintaining a sporting environment where young people are encouraged to develop, learn those vital life lessons and become the very best that they can be not only in sport but in life.

“We wish you every success in promoting and spreading the epidemic of positivity which is spreading from the recent Olympic Games and is fundamental in shaping the culture not only in the sport of rugby but in every sport every community and right to the heart of today’s Scottish Society.”

Du Plessis, who was instrumental in leading Duns through the award, said: “I have been so impressed by the leaders and coaches of Duns RFC and the diligence with which they have completed the process. Well done to David and Robert for taking a lead on this challenging process and making a success of this in such a short time span. This is outstanding for two young guys and exciting for the future of the club.

“I have also enjoyed the workshop with some of the parents and it is clear that this club have got a really good support structure in place to ensure a thriving club game. I would encourage everyone at the club to find practical ways to make the formalised club ethos come to life.”

On the pitch, the first XV lost 21-7 at home to Glasgow Accies in a pre-season friendly split into four periods of 20 minutes in order to give game time to as many players as possible.

Kevin Aitchison scored the Duns try, with Dale Robertson adding the conversion.

This Saturday, the 1st XV travel to Tranent to play Ross High FP in a friendly, the 2nd XV take on Berwick 2nds at The Hardens, while the Colts are at Dunbar in their first outing of pre-season.