Selkirk youths gain first rugby training workout

After a gap of 19 weeks, Philiphaugh hosted its first rugby action last week when Selkirk Youth Club players, and those in years S3-S4, were put through their paces at a carefully-structured training session.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 6:20 pm
Cameron Easson makes a break during the touch rugby training session at Philiphaugh (picture by John Smail)

Complying with Scottish Rugby’s ‘return to rugby’ stage 3 guidelines, the 27 youngsters took part in a series of touch rugby games on the main pitch, supervised by Selkirk RFC’s COVID-19 safety co-ordinator, Ewen Robbie, and the Youth Club’s four coaches – Scott Easson, Alan Wheelans, Mark Easson and Craig MacDougall (who also coaches Selkirk’s U16 team alongside Robbie).

Players were required to arrive at the ground at specified times on the day, register their contact details and use the hand sanitisers provided before and after the session.

On-field rugby activities were limited to groups containing a maximum of 10 players.

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Selkirk Youth Club and age-grade coaches keep socially-distanced at the training session. From left – Craig MacDougall, Alan Wheelans, Scott Easson, Mark Easson and Ewen Robbie

“A fair bit of work has gone into organising the training,” said Craig MacDougall. “We had a Zoom meeting the previous week, and Alan’s probably been the person who’s done the most by getting the risk assessments in place and organising the sanitising stations.

“Because of certain issues, we can’t use the Youth Club’s own pitch at the moment, so we’re grateful being allowed to come along to Philiphaugh instead.”

Although games of touch rugby are allowed for school-age and under-18 players, permission for full body contact is still some way from being given by the rugby authorities.

“At this stage, full contact isn’t really an issue,” added Mark Easson. “This is the players’ first get-together in over four months, so the main aim of the session was to get them back enjoying themselves.

“Just handling a rugby ball again is a step in the right direction and, right now the main thing is for everybody to have a bit of fun. It’s been good to catch up with all the boys and to see them meeting up again with all their team-mates.”

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from The Editor