Jamie Ritchie wants younger voices to be heard within rugby clubs
Jamie Ritchie’s focus may be on Scotland’s ongoing Six Nation’s campaign, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking time out to help encourage the next generation into the sport.
The Strathkinness international, who started his career as a youngster with Madras and broke into the senior game with the Howe of Fife, is helping to promote The Royal Bank RugbyForce 2021 programme which has opened for funding applications.
New for this year, grassroots heroes aged 18-35 from Scotland’s local rugby clubs are being encouraged to apply to become young ambassadors, as part of a fresh focus on the future for the upcoming season.
In a drive to get more young people into club boardrooms, the programme is working together with Scottish Rugby to appoint 10 young ambassadors onto the committees of their club, providing them with a £500 grant from Royal Bank to deliver a project of their choosing.
Winners will be selected from all five Scottish Rugby regions and will be picked based on how they would spend the grant as well as the great work they are currently delivering through their commitment to their local club.
Scotland international Jamie, who will sit out Sunday’s game with Ireland through injury, has shown his support for the campaign to get more young people involved at the top-level.
He said: “Grassroots rugby is the heart and soul of our game and as professional players, we all know how vital local clubs are in ensuring the future sustainability of the game.
"Away from the field, developing the next set of young ambassadors to take on that responsibility as community club leaders and role models is important as we look to grow our game and make rugby more accessible to as many people as possible.
"Rugby is for everyone and everyone should have a voice at their club.”
Each winning young ambassador candidate will receive specialist training and mentoring to develop key skills for day-to-day club management such as financial and social media capabilities and guidance on how to help their clubs attract members.
More information is available within the clubs and schools section at scottishrugby.org