Despite the launch of the HSBC Rugby Festivals programme being practically snowed off back in December, the very first one-day festival was successfully staged last week in Inverness.
The first Scottish HSBC Rugby festival in partnership with the Scottish Rugby Union took place on Wednesday January 28 at Highland Rugby Club in Inverness.
The HSBC Rugby Festivals programme is the world’s biggest schools rugby initiative and involves over 60,000 children from across the four Home Unions. The scheme aims to encourage an enjoyment of rugby and organises local festivals for schools that are new to the sport to participate in.
Glasgow Warriors players Mark McMillan and Jose-Maria Nunez-Piossek were on hand to give support and advice to children from nine schools from across the Highland region. They were able to sign some autographs and give the young players an insight into what it takes to play rugby at a professional level.
“It is really encouraging to see so many children from local schools come together to enjoy the game of rugby,” said Brian Bell, regional development manager for the Grampian region.
”The HSBC Rugby Festivals are part of a number of new initiatives that can help to promote the growth of the sport in a region where natural geography can make regular fixtures difficult to arrange.”
The Inverness festival is one of a series of 16 events that will take place around Scotland before the end of May 2009 and over 100 schools will have taken part by the end of the current school year.