Scotland stars out in RugbyForce to help Waysiders' volunteer army

Former Scottish internationalist and RBS RugbyForce ambassador Andy Nicol and provisional World Cup squad members Johnnie Beattie and Richie Vernon rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty as 50 rugby clubs across Scotland took part in this year's RugbyForce weekend.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) created RBS RugbyForce three years ago to encourage communities to back their local rugby clubs by volunteering to help improve facilities and run events.

This year, Waysiders/Drumpellier in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, were awarded the enhanced support package in the RBS RugbyForce 2011 nationwide community volunteer programme and received aid worth 5,000 to help improve their facilities.

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After a bacon butty reception on Saturday morning, Nicol, Beattie and Vernon turned their hands to help with building work and refurbishments at the Drumpellier Avenue clubhouse.

Nicol said: "I've previously been involved in the judging process and this year's decisions were harder than ever.

"The clubs really demonstrated the impact that the award would have for both the club and their community."

He added: "Waysiders/Drumpellier is a fantastic example of a club that, with the kick-start this award brings, can leave a lasting legacy to their community and bring benefits for years to come."

Glasgow Warriors No?8 Beattie said: "Without good facilities, many clubs struggle to achieve the results they are capable of, so it is great to see a sponsor of the international game like RBS put their support behind local rugby clubs.

"Richie and I put our questionable DIY skills to the test and helped Waysiders/Drumpellier put their grant to good use and get in top shape for the start of next season," Beattie added. "It really is a fantastic programme to be involved with and we were pleased to have been invited to attend the event at the club."

Peter McCarthy, managing director RBS Scotland, branch banking, said: "We understand that rugby is at the heart of the communities across Scotland and recognise the difference that the game can make.

"Choosing a club to be selected for the enhanced support package was extremely difficult, but Waysiders/Drumpellier is a more than worthy recipient. I encourage as many people support their local rugby clubs."

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It is not only Waysiders/Drumpellier and the secondary support package winners who will be assisted in the regeneration of their facilities.

RBS supported another 50 Scottish clubs with packs that included volunteer t-shirts, funding towards DIY equipment and refreshments as well as tips and planning documents on budgeting, organising resources as well as raising awareness for the weekend.

The Edinburgh-based bank's branch staff members also enlisted to help strengthen the volunteer efforts.

Last year, RBS signed a three-and-a half-year deal with the Scottish Rugby to become principal partner of the governing body, the Scotland team and the domestic game.