More than a game: Community outreach programmes continue to thrive in 2023/24

More than a game: Community outreach programmes continue to thrive in 2023/24

Edinburgh Rugby continued to demonstrate its commitment to the city and beyond with a range of community outreach programmes that truly made the difference in 2023/24.

The capital club continued to engage with a range of players, young and old, across its supporting regions, fostering a love for the sport and its values, and underscoring that professional rugby can still be a powerful force for good.

We take look back at some of the key stats and stories from our community outreach this past campaign:

Spreading the rugby spirit in Our Burgh

Edinburgh Rugby delivered over 15,000 engagements with young people in schools and clubs across its supporting regions in 2023/24.

Whether it’s introducing youngsters to the core fundamentals of the sport, or simply igniting a passion for rugby, the club’s community programme helps sowthe seeds for a future generation of passionate rugby fans and players.

The dedication goes beyond just numbers. Professional players made 45 ‘Our Burgh’ appearances at a variety of different schools, clubs and camps, inspiring youngsters and offering guidance.

Elsewhere over 2,000 tickets were donated to schools, clubs and emergency services personnel, allowing them to experience the electric atmosphere of an Edinburgh Rugby match.


Building inclusivity

Edinburgh Rugby continues to recognise the importance of inclusivity. Two pre-match Scottish Building Society Inclusive Festivals – specifically catered formixed-ability participants – were delivered successfully, welcoming over 200 people to celebrate the sport in a fun and welcoming environment.

Furthermore, over 1,000 youngsters had the unforgettable experience of taking part in the pre-match Guard of Honour or halftime minis, memories they’ll cherish for years to come.


Going the extra mile

The commitment extends beyond the immediate spotlight. The club’s Prosper Programme has supported 65 identified marginalised young people, providing them with opportunities and mentorship throughout the season.

Additionally, 50 free mascot packages were offered, along with 20 free camp spaces for youngsters from deprived areas. The team also donated 40 full sets of kit, striving to ensure everyone has the chance to get involved.

Beyond direct engagement with young people, Edinburgh Rugby has demonstrated its commitment to the community through significant fundraising efforts.

Throughout the 2023/24 season, the club raised over £25,000 for local causes and charities. This impressive sum isn’t just a number; it represents vital support for organisations working tirelessly to improve the lives of others within the city and surrounding areas.

“We’re incredibly proud of the impact our community programmes are having,” said Edinburgh Rugby Managing Director Douglas Struth.

“Our aim is to use the reach of the club to inspire young people, promote healthy lifestyles and give back to the communities that support us.

“The enthusiasm we see from young people at our events is truly infectious. It motivates us to keep expanding our programmes and ensure everyone has the chance to experience the joy of rugby.

“The partnerships we’ve built with schools, clubs and charities are a vital part of our success. Together, we’re making a positive impact that goes beyond the rugby field.”

Community Manager Ruaridh Pye highlighted the programme’s heart: “It’s fantastic to see so many young people getting involved with rugby, but it’s the additional support we can offer that makes a real difference. We’re committed to using the power of rugby to build a stronger, more inclusive community in Edinburgh and beyond.

“Seeing the smiles on the faces of children participating in our programmes is incredibly rewarding. Our goal is to create a lifelong connection with rugby, but more importantly, to instil the values of teamwork, respect and resilience in all participants.

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to engage with the community. Whether it’s offering coaching clinics from our players, hosting sessions here at Hive Stadium, or simply providing tickets for those who might not otherwise have the opportunity, we want to ensure rugby is accessible to everyone.”

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