West Lothian Rugby Development Strategy

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1 West Lothian Rugby Development Strategy

2 Foreword The Rugby Development Strategy is intended to build on the successes and achievements of the regional strategy and to support the national Scottish Rugby Strategic Plan. It is designed to provide continued direction for the many stakeholders involved in the development of rugby union within West Lothian. The hard work and effort of many people and organisations in developing rugby in the region is recognised explicitly. We must ensure that the good practice is built on and shared and that we make best use of the valuable resources available, avoiding overlap, for the benefit of the whole rugby community. The strategy seeks to identify the main issues affecting progress and to generate actions with lead roles and timescales. Outlined within this strategy are the ambitious targets for growing the game further over the next three years. We believe that with the continued co-operation between rugby clubs, schools, local authorities, funding agencies and development staff, these targets are realistic and achievable. Scottish Rugby is committed to improving the lifestyle and health of children and young people and developing their potential within the game whether as enthusiastic club players or within the elite professional ranks. We see our sport as an inclusive one; with the combination of contact rugby, touch rugby and tag/new image rugby allowing it to be played by males and females of all ages and abilities. Rugby is a sport that provides key physiological and psychological benefits, as well as developing social skills. We are determined that all residents, no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation or social status, should be given the opportunity to benefit from their involvement in rugby Accordingly, at the heart of the strategy is support for volunteers who run the rugby clubs so that they can offer long-lasting structures to keep people particularly young people involved in rugby for life. This document could not have been created without the input of all stakeholders in the area. Thanks must go to West Lothian Council for their continued support of rugby development within the region, and to the rugby clubs and the development staff over the past few years. Their enthusiasm for their sport is constant, and the countless hours they put into their clubs and rugby within the region is greatly appreciated. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to deliver a co-ordinated approach to the continued development of rugby in West Lothian. John Manson Regional Development Manager (RDM) West Lothian 1

3 The Vision and Aims for Rugby The overarching vision statement that defines the way forward for Scottish Rugby is: Growing locally, performing successfully, competing globally. Within this, Community Rugby s vision is that: We will create an integrated, thriving and competitive rugby community that engages and retains people of all ages and abilities, through enjoyment and fulfilment provided at sustainable and equitable clubs. The three key aims are to: Increase the number of adults (men and women) participating in the game (i.e. playing, coaching, refereeing, volunteering) Increase the number of young people (boys and girls) playing the game Develop stronger clubs (i.e. sustainable, with a range of teams at all age groups and supported by well-trained volunteers) Introduction Context Following the integration of the women s and men s governing bodies in June 2009, Scottish Rugby is now the national governing body for the sport of rugby union in Scotland. It oversees all levels of the game from grassroots and schools to youth, club, professional and international representative teams together with coaching, refereeing and volunteering. Support is given via a regional and national structure to develop the sport - from the first touch at school or club, to identifying and developing talented players, to the highest performance levels. Safety and Welfare Scottish Rugby is aware of the risks associated with playing contact sports and has taken considerable steps in the last few years to review player welfare and safety. Following a wide-ranging review of the game in Scotland, including an extensive consultation, a number of changes in policy designed to 2

4 increase safety were introduced for the start of season 2009/10 under the banner of the Are You Ready to Play Rugby? campaign. Challenges There are various challenges going forward and no doubt more will appear along the way. However, by working together it will be possible to overcome these and ensure continued rugby development within the region. Over the last few years West Lothian has benefited from several partnerships which have led to the appointment of two full-time club development officers (DOs), and one part-time DO throughout the region. The development staff have a key role in supporting the volunteers throughout the clubs and schools, who have worked tirelessly over the last few years to develop rugby and continue to do so week in, week out. The development staff are employed in partnership with the local authority and both local clubs. It is testament to the can-do attitude of these organisations that the game has grown over the last few years and the growth targets achieved to date. Maintenance of the development officer network throughout the region will be vital in allowing club and school rugby to successfully contribute to the achievement of the local authority Single Outcome Agreement. Over the life of the previous strategy West Lothian has seen slight growth, with the number of registered youth players increasing from 339 to 355; an increase of 5% since Similarly, the amount of registered adult players has shown growth from 168 to 205; an increase of 22% over the same period. The majority of the youth growth has been in school rugby, and the challenge now lies with not only continuing this growth but ensuring that it transfers into the club game. The clubs in the area can provide life-long enjoyment and participation in the game; from learning basic movement skills and teamwork at an early age, to retiring from playing and getting involved in coaching, refereeing or supporting the club. The focus must be on club development and creating a welcoming, safe and enjoyable environment an open door to a lifetime of fitness and enjoyment through rugby. 3

5 As the number of players increases; so does the need for well-trained people to support and maintain the growth. The recruitment of volunteers such as match officials, coaches and helpers within clubs is key to sustainability. Many parts of West Lothian have a long history of volunteering, however this should not be taken for granted. In areas where volunteers are proving harder to find, local volunteer recruitment strategies will be developed, with all volunteers being recognised and rewarded. The growth in the number of female participants plays an important part in the growth and development of rugby in West Lothian; and Regional Action Plans will address this, together with the image of the sport, to attract more female participants. Achieving the target growth figures will require funding from a number of partners and sources. Whilst in-kind support is being provided and welcomed, funding from the local authority will be critical to the provision of the targeted number of club Development Officers. Access to improved sporting facilities, both outdoor and indoor, across West Lothian is required to attract and develop players. Current facilities fall short of what is required to allow increased playing standards of participants and clubs. A further challenge is an approach which is suitable for the geography and demography of the area. It must be realised that the communities within West Lothian differ considerably in size and makeup. Therefore, the local authority annual action plan which is developed from this strategy is vital to its success and must support the two rugby clubs, 11 secondary schools and 66 primary schools across West Lothian. The rugby development team are actively seeking staff to take on the role of rugby champion for their school. Currently three out of the 11 secondary schools in the area do not have a rugby champion. Rugby champions have been crucial in growing the schools infrastructure nationally over the past few years. 4

6 Strategic Context There are a number of national and local documents that direct policy. Nationally these include Scottish Rugby s Strategic Plan and Reaching Higher: Building on the Success of Sport 21, which sets out the long-term aims and objectives for sport until 2020 and identifies four national priorities, which will build and sustain a sporting infrastructure to deliver the national outcomes of increasing participation and improving performance. These priorities are well-trained people; strong organisations; quality facilities and providing the player pathways. The purpose of the West Lothian Rugby Development Strategy is to influence and contribute to the outcomes of key policy papers across sport, physical activity, health and education. National Strategies and Plans Scottish Rugby s Strategic Plan Reaching Higher: Building on the Success of Sport 21 Scottish Rugby s Long Term Player Development Strategy Let s Make Scotland More Active National Physical Activity Task Force 2003 A Curriculum for Excellence Local Sport & Physical Activity Strategies and Plans West Lothian Council Sport for All in West Lothian Strategic Plan 5

7 Strategic Plan In order to achieve growth in West Lothian, this strategy will focus on a number of key outcomes, highlighted below. The local authority Annual Action Plan will detail the specific actions that will contribute to achieving the following outcomes: Increase the number of adults (men and women) participating in the game (i.e. playing, coaching, refereeing, volunteering) Objective Actions Timescale Responsibility KPI Increase the number of adults (men and women) playing rugby Support and develop adult rugby within clubs Provide competitive and development opportunities clubs / LAs *35% increase 155 in in 2012 Increase & sustain a team of jointly funded development officers, working in communities throughout West Lothian Working in partnership, develop funding packages to enable recruitment of development officers Working in partnership, develop funding packages to enable sustainable recruitment of SVQ apprentices funding agencies Two in 2009 Three in 2012 Zero in 2009 Two in 2012 Increase the quantity and improve the quality of referees referees. Provide referee education opportunities and encourage attendance clubs / LAs 50% increase 40 in in 2012 Increase the quantity and improve the qualifications of coaches coaches. Provide coach education opportunities and encourage attendance coach development 50% increase 50 UKCC level one in UKCC level one in 2012 Increase the number of volunteers volunteers. Develop volunteering strategy volunteering agencies All club teams to have at least one qualified coach *Targets will be measured from 2007 to 2012 to correspond with Scottish Rugby s strategic plan 6

8 Increase the number of young people (boys and girls) playing the game Objective Actions Timescale Responsibility KPI Increase the number of youngsters (boys and girls) playing rugby Introduce, develop and promote participation in primary (P4-7) and secondary school rugby and make links to clubs Support and develop mini/midi and youth rugby within clubs Provide competitive and development opportunities clubs / LAs *38% increase 487 in in 2012 Increase female yr old players in West Lothian 10 (0 in 2010) Increase female P4-P7 players in West Lothian 22 (5 in 2010) Increase & sustain a team of jointly funded development officers, working in communities throughout West Lothian Working in partnership, develop funding packages to enable recruitment of development officers Working in partnership, develop funding packages to enable sustainable recruitment of SVQ apprentices funding agencies Two in 2009 Three in 2012 Zero in 2009 Two in 2012 Increase the quantity and improve the quality of referees referees. Provide referee education opportunities and encourage attendance clubs / LAs 50% increase 40 in in 2012 Increase the quantity and improve the qualifications of coaches coaches. Provide coach education opportunities and encourage attendance coach development 50% increase 50 UKCC level one in UKCC level one in 2012 Increase the number of volunteers volunteers. Develop volunteering strategy volunteering agencies All club teams to have at least one qualified coach 7

9 Develop stronger clubs (i.e. sustainable, with a range of teams at all age-groups and supported by well trained volunteers) Objective Actions Timescale Responsibility KPI All clubs to have a club-specific development plan Assist with facility development Provide support in writing and put club development plans into action Input to local authority facility/playing field strategies. Identify and source external funding opportunities 2010 Clubs / RDM / RDG 2012 RDM / clubs / LAs All clubs to have development plans in place. Increase & sustain a team of jointly funded development officers, working in communities throughout West Lothian Working in partnership, develop funding packages to enable recruitment of development officers Working in partnership, develop funding packages to enable sustainable recruitment of SVQ apprentices funding agencies Two in 2009 Three in 2012 Zero in 2009 Two in 2012 Increase the number of volunteers volunteers. Develop volunteering strategy volunteering agencies All club teams to have at least one qualified coach 8

10 Performance Development To develop, implement, drive & monitor an effective regional player identification and tracking programme across the region, linked to the national player pathway skill development, talent ID & performance development programmes Objective Actions Timescale Responsibility KPI Improve standard of individual players from under-14 upwards Deliver skill development / talent ID camps at under-14 & under-15 levels, involving all state school / HMC school & club players 2013 RDM / RAC Fully integrated program delivering under-14 and under-15 camps Provide effective player pathway to facilitate development of players with potential Deliver skill development, talent ID and player development from under- 16 to under-18 to expose players to a progressively higher level of games 2013 RAC Pathway games at under-16 and under-18 Regional squads at under-16, under-17 and under-18 age groups Deliver a well planned and consistent approach to the development of our most talented players Delivery of national rugby curriculum during regional pathway programmes National squads at under-16 and under-17 summer camps 2013 RAC Development of national rugby curriculum linked to LTPD principles Facilitate and coordinate appropriate individual plans for identified players within the region to ensure training approaches, coaching and service support is optimal for each player s development To develop identified coaches from the community clubs and schools Provide player reports / assessments Work in partnership with the SIS, AIS, LAs, Scottish Rugby staff, local rugby club / school coaches and other stakeholders to manage a selected group of regional academy standard players To provide CPD opportunities, formal and informal coach development opportunities for coaches from our community clubs and schools 2013 RAC Reports delivered in appropriate timescales 2013 RAC / coach education Number of players inducted into regional academy Coaches involved in player pathway to have relevant UKCC qualification 9

11 Delivery, Monitoring and Evaluation Specific delivery of the issues and associated actions will be the responsibility of the lead agent identified against each one. General progress will be monitored by a Scottish Rugby Regional Development Group at their quarterly meetings. Scottish Rugby s Regional Development Manager (RDM) shall maintain the master document. Participation figures shall be obtained annually from Scottish Rugby s online registration systems. The RDG is the group of individuals responsible for the creation, implementation and monitoring of an Annual Action Plan and is ultimately responsible for the development and growth of all aspects of the game of rugby in West Lothian. This group is driven by the RDM and made up of influential, respected, knowledgeable, solution- focussed people. These people will be selected by the RDM and represent the following stakeholders: West Lothian Clubs Linlithgow RFC Livingston RFC Schools Armadale Academy Bathgate Academy Broxburn Academy Deans CHS Inveralmond HS Linlithgow Academy St Kentigern s St Margaret s The James Young HS West Calder HS Whitburn Academy 66 Primary Schools Local authority West Lothian Council Women s and girls rugby Match officials Scottish Rugby staff 10

12 Conclusion Rugby has been steadily growing over the past few years in West Lothian, which is testament to the hard work of staff and club volunteers alike; however there is an opportunity to build on this over the next three years to ensure that this growth continues. The clubs within the region must be a focal point for rugby development, and the countless volunteers must continue to be supported both by development staff and within their clubs and schools to ensure future growth. The West Lothian Rugby Development Strategy and its associated Action Plan will evolve over time and, with the input of all stakeholders will ensure that Scottish Rugby, local authorities, rugby clubs and schools achieve their goals. This will ensure that West Lothian is seen as growing locally and performing successfully, and will be at the forefront of sports development in Scotland. 11

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