Selkirk RFC is heralding the approach of a new season by staging a Rugby Force weekend, in which it aims to enhance its status as a community club.
A multitude of events has been lined up for tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday at Philiphaugh to promote the sport of rugby and the club itself, hopefully making it an even more family-orientated organisation.
Selkirk applied successfully for a grant to enable it to interact more effectively with youth and young families during games, explained director of rugby Ewen Robbie.
Rugby Force, an initiative by the Royal Bank of Scotland, has run for a number of years at various clubs and is designed to get members of the club helping out with small but important jobs which may often get overlooked but are important at the start of a new season.
“We want to be known as a family club and commuity club,” said Ewen. “That’s generically how Selkirk has done pretty well, because families – including grandfathers, uncles and mothers – have been involved in the club.”
There’s a chance for three families to win free family membership of the rugby club, while refreshments will be available, along with a bouncy castle, face painting and children’s archery.
Saturday’s attractions include a skills clinic at 11.30am with Scotland Women’s 7s Ladies coach Scott Wight, and a presentation on the Selkirk’s already strong links with young people and how the community can become involved in the club.
The U18s are then due to play Kelso Quins, followed at 3pm by the main match of the day, Selkirk against Marr, which should be an excellent pre-season test.
On Sunday afternoon, the Rugby Force crew will be assembling to tackle the tasks in hand. “We hope to re-energise and reinvigorate the club – that’s how we want to move forward,” said Ewen.
He added the game with Marr would pose a “massive challenge” but Selkirk would field a strong team, with a mixture of regular first XVs and some younger players.
The Souters’ last first-team outing produced a 21-20 win for them at Hamilton.
Selkirk have so far recruited Luke Petty, formerly of Gala, Stevie Hamilton, from Peebles, and also Calum Leckie, who is helping with the rugby programme.
Departing Philiphaugh are Kieran Cooney, who has moved to a role with the Scottish Rugby Union and also director of rugby at Kelso.
Romanian tight-head prop Cata Graur has also joined Kelso, while Ciaran Whyte has gone to Boroughmuir.
Selkirk also ran a highly successful summer school of rugby earlier this month, which attracted around 50 young enthusiasts and featured sessions for P1-6 children in the mornings and P7-U15 in the afternoons.
The training offered them an introduction to fitness, games, team work, and enjoying sport.