Club News | 5th Oct 2020
HOW WAS it for you? Lockdown posed problems for us all, but we’ve been heartened by the drive and ingenuity shown by so many grass-roots clubs over the past seven months. You’ll find some of those stories on pages 88-89.
With no results on which to assess performance, we’ve awarded our first 2020-21 Team of the Month title to a club that, in the words of their DoR John Muir, “realised we had a bigger role to play than just offering rugby opportunities”. Stewartry, in Scotland’s South-West, were top of West Regional One when the 2019-20 season was interrupted in March. Despite having promotion in their grasp, they voted to nullify the season in the SRU poll that followed. “People were dying from coronavirus. Our priority was the safety of our members,” says Muir.
Over the summer, Stewartry set skills challenges, installed extra floodlighting and reviewed their mission statement.
They appointed a Covid Safety Officer in Clare Dooley, who fronted a video to help the kids picture how to return to rugby safely.
Best of all, Stewartry ran a #clearyourhead campaign, a series of messages from players and coaches about how to cope when life gets you down.
It’s an issue close to their heart. In recent years they’ve lost two of their own, Scott Carson and Carrieann Prince, to suicide. Carson had won Man of the Match in a win that secured the West Two title. Three days later he was found dead on his parents’ farm.
“Mental health is a priority for people coming back to the new normal,” says Muir. “So we initiated conversations with the NHS and (charity) Breathing Space and decided on ‘clear your head’. It’s a national strategy but we’re using it for a rugby basis. There’s still a stigma attached to mental health and we’re trying to break that stigma down.”
It’s hoped that matches will resume in Scotland this month – we wish Stewartry well. If you think you deserve to be our next Team of the Month, email alan. email@example.com to tell us why.
You can buy your copy of Rugby World Magazine in most news agents in and around the Stewartry.