Aberdeen RFC wins £3,000 to help tackle climate change from the grassroots up

Calvin Cox

Annual community funding programme provides essential support for rugby clubs across Scotland ahead of the new season

ABERDEEN RFC has been awarded the top prize of £3,000 in this year’s Royal Bank RugbyForce programme.

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The club faced competition from across the country, which saw close to 100 entries submitted to the judges. The funding will be used to help the club to promote sustainability in the local area through a series of activities including volunteering to clean local beaches and working on their local community garden by providing equipment and seedlings for planting into areas designated by the local council.

Aberdeen RFC will receive their prize money ahead of Royal Bank RugbyForce Day, taking place at clubs across the country on Saturday, the 12th of August. On RugbyForce Day, clubs across the country are encouraged to host a community fun-day, welcoming locals from the surrounding area to the club.

Royal Bank RugbyForce is a nationwide programme delivered in partnership with Scottish Rugby. Since launch, more than half a million pounds has been distributed directly benefiting 75% of amateur rugby clubs in Scotland.

New for 2023, this year’s initiative has been designed to promote sustainability within the local community. Example projects include efforts to tackle waste and carbon emissions as well as community action to improve the local environment such as planting new trees, wildlife conservation or beach clean ups.

Alongside funding for winning clubs, Royal Bank RugbyForce also offers a separate funding and mentoring programme, encouraging grassroots players aged 18-35 to apply to become part of the ‘Young Ambassadors’ squad in a drive to help more young people have a voice in club decision-making.

It has been a great year for the area as Calvin Cox (Aberdeen RFC) and Ruaridh McDonald (Aberdeen Taexali RFC) have also been named as two of 15 winners of the 2023 Young Ambassador programme. The Young Ambassadors will have access to their own £500 grant to contribute towards successfully delivering their project.

Each winning candidate receives specialist training and mentoring to develop the skills to deliver a project of their choosing, aiming to make positive environmental and social change.

Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Royal Bank, One Bank Scotland said: “Once again, Royal Bank RugbyForce has shown the value of amateur sport for our communities and how, on and off the pitch, the volunteers, staff, fans and players are always thinking of new ways to help their clubs and their towns benefit.

“This year’s focus on sustainability has shown how clubs across Scotland are looking to the future and how they can improve how they operate to make sure others can enjoy the sport for generations to come and help the sport thrive.

“A huge congratulations to Aberdeen RFC and all those who have taken the time to take part.”

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