League officials respond to abuse allegations

Selkirk 7's
Selkirk 7's

Borders Semi-Junior League (BSJL) officials have gathered following comments by Melrose RFC president John Reed as reported in last week’s Southern.

Mr Reed wrote a letter to the league expressing his dismay at the ‘abusive’ behaviour of certain sections of the crowd towards the young players at Jed Thistle Sevens. He called for club committees to “address the problem”.

This week, Borders Semi-Junior League president Ian Hair sent out the following statement: “The BSJL condemns all abuse of players, regrets that the incidents at Jed Thistle Sevens occurred and agreed that this must never be repeated.

“We recognise that it is the responsibility of the clubs to ensure that their players and supporters behave in a manner befitting Borders rugby and will collectively support the actions of each club in ensuring such behaviour will not occur again.”

A letter will be sent to each of the 12 clubs at the beginning of next season, reminding them of their responsibility to ensure that both players and supporters behave in a manner that befits the Borders Semi-Junior League.

This week, Mr Reed expressed his gratitude that the matter was being taken in hand.

“Mr Hair has assured me that all 12 Borders Semi-Junior League clubs will do everything in their power to ensure behaviour such as this does not happen again,” he said.

“I am grateful for his rapid response. If there is one issue which all clubs should address it is abuse of anyone involved with the game of rugby. In the name of rugby and fair play, no player, parent, match official or any spectator should be subjected to vile personal abuse. I feel that all club committees have to deal with this issue as they see fit.”

z This weekend, Melrose RFC have far more pleasurable duties to perform as the curtain comes down on the senior sevens circuit.

Last week, the Greenyards’ outfit increased their lead at the top of the DS Dalgleish & Son Kings of the Sevens table to four points after taking the runners-up slot at Selkirk.

On Saturday they have it all to do again at the Mainetti Jed-Forest Sevens as any of the top four teams –Melrose, Watsonians, Gala and Selkirk – can still win the series. See page 80 for more information.