SRU make wellbeing, women and winning rugby priorities in three-year strategy

The Scottish Rugby Union has put "wellbeing, women and winning" at the heart of its strategy for the next three years.

The approach has been backed by the SRU board and unanimously endorsed by its council as the governing body recovers from the pandemic and gets set to rebuild.

The SRU will seek to grow participation, improve diversity and inclusion, "future-proof" the community game as well as drive revenue and build winning teams.

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More than 100 clubs received the plans promising the "most comprehensive and sustained investment programme in the union's history". A £6.5million five-year package for the community game previously announced in April incorporates a Scottish Government loan.

(Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
(Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

A statement read: "Work has already started on creating and delivering funding streams to community clubs to enable them to restart rugby activities, improve facilities and plan outreach sessions to bring new and previous players and volunteers back to the game or to welcome them for the first time.

"The strategy has also identified the importance of wellbeing for everyone involved in rugby for the positive combination of physical and mental-health benefits sport brings, especially the role clubs play as the focal point of local communities.

"The rapid growth in the women and girl's game will also act as a driver to raise wider participation, alongside the ambition to develop an improved pathway from the club game through a professional team approach to support the Scotland Women's team."

The strategy also involves enabling Glasgow and Edinburgh to compete in the new-look United Rugby Championship, with investment targeted on benefiting the national team and generating additional revenue.

SRU Chief Executive Mark Dodson

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said: "Like many organisations the Covid-19 pandemic gave us an opportunity to reflect and reset how we want to move our sport and Scottish Rugby forward. This strategy will give us clear areas of focus and it sets out our intentions and ambitions to progress targeted areas of improvement.

“It goes without saying that we want our teams to win every time they take the field, that is non-negotiable. The strategy also sets out a more holistic approach that aims to reflect the world we now operate in and how society views our sport and the huge benefits we can give back to communities across the country.”

John Jeffrey, Scottish Rugby's chairman, added: “It is vital we have a clear strategy and set of priorities to move our sport in Scotland forward after a hugely disruptive period due to Covid.“We have sought to strike a balance across the different areas Scottish Rugby has responsibility for and feel this strategy shows how inter-connected all facets of the game are and how we can work collectively on meeting its ambitions.

“How we emerge from the pandemic is crucial and I know there is real opportunity here for us to strengthen our grassroots and ensure our teams are winning and our people are developed and supported.”

The FOSROC Super6 tournament is due to resume on July 30 after its inaugural campaign was cut short by the pandemic. Community rugby, including the Tennent's Leagues for both men and women, is scheduled to restart on September 4 after an 18-month hiatus.

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