Young rugby players from Galloway will take part in this year’s ScottishPower Warriors Rugby Championship.
Teams from Kirkcudbright Academy, Douglas Ewart High School, Maxwelltown High School and Annan High are set to take part in the event which kicks off in May.
The competition will provide 20 schools from across Scotland with the opportunity to play against others at a professional club while looking for the future stars of the game.
The Championship was officially launched at Scotstoun with pupils from Annan Academy along with several members of the Glasgow Warriors squad and coaching team, including Gregor Townsend and Scottish Rugby Ambassador Al Kellock. The competition is a fundamental part of ScottishPower’s three-year sponsorship of Glasgow Warriors and its commitment to supporting grassroots sport in Scotland.
Each school will take part in qualifying events played at Scotstoun throughout March before the winners progress to the semi-final stages. The winners of the semi-finals (to be held in April) will then face off at Scotstoun in the final of the tournament ahead of the 1872 Cup clash between Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby on Saturday, 6 May.
Designed to encourage maximum participation and teamwork, the competition format requires each school to field an S1 and S2 boys team, as well as an under-15s girls’ team with matches between each school effectively becoming a “best of three” where every game counts.
The champions will get the chance to meet their heroes with a team coaching session run by Glasgow Warriors stars, as well as getting their hands on the ScottishPower Warriors Rugby Championship trophy and brand new rugby kits for their school. Throughout the tournament, all schools participating will have the opportunity to learn from the Glasgow Warriors players within a professional environment at Scotstoun.
Guy Jefferson, ScottishPower Director of Distribution, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Glasgow Warriors again this year to help promote rugby in local schools. The ScottishPower Warriors Rugby Championship is a fantastic opportunity for schools to encourage students to get active through sport as well as providing them the chance to play rugby at the home of one of Europe’s premier clubs.”
Alastair Kellock, Scottish Rugby Ambassador, said: “Following the successes of last year’s tournament, we are excited to return for a second season and continue to inspire the next generation of rugby players. As well as giving local students the opportunity to play at the home of Glasgow Warriors and to access our professional environment and players, rugby is a great game to develop valuable skills in teamwork, communication and decision-making which the students can take into other aspects of everyday-life. Our relationship with ScottishPower and our work in the community are both very important to us and this championship allows us to bring the two together.”
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Sport in Scotland, said: “Increasing rates of physical activity is a key aspect of our drive to make Scotland healthier and fitter, and having programmes like this will help us achieve that as well as introduce possible future stars to the game. ScottishPower and Glasgow Warriors have made a huge success of establishing this new competition - to have 20 schools and over 800 students taking part in the tournament is fantastic. The opportunity to play at the home of Glasgow Warriors will be a memorable experience for these young players and I wish everyone the best of luck.”