D&A Teams Up with Scottish Rugby Union to Forge Future Rugby Talent

A new partnership between Dundee and Angus College (D&A) and the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) is supporting the development of young players 

The programme is working with young players to equip them with the skills and expertise needed to compete at the highest level of the sport. Those attending the schools of rugby are being provided with tailored coaching and support including strength and conditioning training.

The bespoke qualification is a participation and performance programme for young people aged 14 to 18 years old and is aimed at maximising potential using a broad base of resources and evidence to support learning activities.

One key aspect of the programme is to raise performance and attainment by creating individual training programmes and development pathways which will help young athletes for elite-level competition such as the Six Nations Championship.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) level 4 and 5 certified courses are delivered through the SRU Schools of Rugby alongside the SRU Development Officers working in close partnership with D&A to assure the highest level of learning and teaching within the specialised qualification.

Lee Gordon, Lecturer in Sports and Fitness at Dundee and Angus College said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to further develop our partnership with the SRU through the support of the Developing Player Programme. The school pupils within our region, and further afield, will be able to experience the college community with student benefits, formal certification of their qualifications and exposure to our fantastic facilities. We are delighted to support the growth of this physical activity initiative which will encourage and grow participation rates for our young people using rugby as a vehicle.”

Dundee and Angus College have excellent sporting facilities including elite training pitches, state-of-the-art gym, strength and conditioning suite, spacious sports halls and 25m pool.

Promising players from S4 and S5 from Craigie High School and Braeview Academy, both Dundee attend Dundee and Angus College’s Gardyne Campus twice a week to train at the state-of-the-art facilities with a local SRU Development Officer.

Andrew Hamilton, SRU Development Officer, said: “Pupils have learned how to warm-up for gym sessions, why we do it and what equipment or attire we need, as well as fuelling ourselves for a session.

“Pupils have progressed onto resistance exercises where pupils support each other safely as well as encouraging each other to complete the sessions.

“My hope is that they enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in their own Gym space, where it is making them gain confidence to continue down the pathway of sports and exercise as well as Rugby.”

The partnership between D&A and SRU is a welcome step in engaging young talent in the local community. Chris Pacey, Regional Director, Caledonia Midlands, said: “It's fantastic to create this partnership with Dundee and Angus College, as part of our overall work in the city of Dundee to grow and develop rugby in local communities. Through this partnership, we will be able to support the college to engage young people in the Tayside region in a programme that has a significant impact in developing young people. The partnership is also a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work going on in our local communities, delivered and supported in schools by our network of rugby development officers and now with the support of the College, the support and resources available to our young players in Dundee will continue to grow even further.”