Broch pupils heading to rugby festival

Pupils from the Fraserburgh primary network will be putting their rugby skills to the test in their first inter-school festival, as well as getting the chance to pick up some tips from Scotland’s rugby A starts Stuart McInally and David Blair.

Over the past month, pupils have been coached in ‘Touch Rugby’ by Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) coaches from the Ellon Rugby Club and the Ellon and Buchan area development officer Mike Avis, and will be showcasing their skills at the Aberdeen Sports Village on Friday, March 25

The ‘Kick Off’ initiative is being delivered to pupils by NHS Grampian, Scottish Rugby, Sport Scotland and Aberdeenshire Active Schools with over 1,200 pupils from the Aberdeenshire having benefitted from the programme so far.

As well as working on their rugby skills, pupils have also learned about the benefits of healthy eating through various games which highlight the pros and cons of different foods and drinks.

Schools which have taken part in the programme have had 3-4 coaching sessions with integrated games based on activities focussing on key health messages such as regularly getting 60 minutes of physical activity daily, swapping sugary snack and drinks for healthier options and getting your 5-a-day.

Paul Winter, Active Schools Coordinator for Fraserburgh Primaries, said: “This has been a wonderful programme for the children to take part in. They have really enjoyed learning new skills and hopefully have taken on board everything they have learned about the benefits of healthy eating. The rugby festival will be a great experience, and maybe we’ll see some stars of the future being given the chance to show their mettle.”

Dr Mary Bellizzi, Health Improvement Officer for NHS Grampian, said: “It is so wonderful to see children enjoying running around and learning new skills at the same time. However, family involvement is crucial to the longer term health benefits of this work and this is why this initiative encouraged families to identify and make small lifestyle changes too.”

Edinburgh and Scotland A back-row forward Stuart McInally, said: “This is a great idea to help encourage local kids to take part in sport, as well as allowing them to learn how to look after themselves. Lessons about good hygiene and healthy eating are important for any youngster, not just the budding sports stars.

“Using sport is a great way to motivate kids to learn. It helps reinforce what’s taught in the classroom while at the same time getting them active and exercising.”