Stars enhance the learning experience at local schools

EDINBURGH Rugby players visited Borders schools last Thursday to help pupils put the finishing touches on their preparations for a rugby festival at Murrayfield.

The schools are among the 26 selected for the Cashback School of Rugby programme in 2011 following an increased investment of almost £250,000 from the Scottish Government to deliver the sport in the curriculum.

As the season approaches its conclusion, the schools will come together to compete in a regional tournament in the shadow of the national stadium next Thursday.

Winger Lee Jones returned to his old school in Selkirk with fellow Borderer Gregor Hunter.

He said: “It’s great to be back at my old high school, especially to be supporting the development of their rugby and showing how they can get the most out of the sport and be the best they can be for their school and club. They’re all champing at the bit to get stuck into the rugby festival and I’m looking forward to cheering them on from the sidelines.”

Scottish Rugby’s head of clubs and schools, Nick Rennie, added: “The importance of this programme is not just that rugby is growing and becoming part of school culture, it’s that children’s educational experiences are improving.

“Sport can be a catalyst for the development of life skills and there are many values that young people can learn, imperative to life inside and outside of school, on and off the pitch.”

Jones and Hunter were two of the 12 players out supporting local school rugby. Others included James King and Dougie Fife at Hawick High School, and George Turner and Roddy Grant at Peebles High School.