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Return of youth fixtures adding to excitement of youth training at Ross Sutherland Rugby Club


By Andrew Henderson

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Ross Sutherland development officer John Mann feels like things are starting to get back to normal for the club at youth and senior level.

The first XV have not played a competitive game since March 2020, while for most of the year youth training was severely restricted too.

In recent weeks though, the club has begun to turn a corner.

Senior players have been able to return to training, working their way back up to full contact.

Touch tournaments and walking rugby have also returned to the Naval Grounds, but the most drastic turnaround can be seen in the children’s game.

Ross Sutherland are running a full programme of youth rugby over the summer holidays.
Ross Sutherland are running a full programme of youth rugby over the summer holidays.

The Stags were allowed back into schools, albeit not quite as normal, before the end of the academic year to restart sessions, which have helped to build up to their summer programme of youth rugby.

Summer camps have already started at the club’s home ground in Invergordon and in Sutherland, and Ross Sutherland are regular features of High Life Highland’s summer schedule, so there are plenty of options for children to get involved over the coming weeks.

While there has been a long wait for these camps, the anticipation is even greater for matches.

Thankfully, youth festivals are on the horizon, which helps Mann feel as though rugby is coming out the other side of the pandemic.

“The kids have loved the camps so far, but seven weeks is a long time to be on holiday, so we wanted to put stuff on around the area,” Mann explained.

“I think it is a good way to break up their holidays, and parents love it when we can take the kids away for four or five hours and send them back absolutely goosed.

“Things like having summer camps on, and getting our fixtures announced for senior and youth rugby next season, it feels like we’re getting one step closer to normality.

“We can go back to having a good routine of rugby throughout the week, and then at the weekend.

“You come and tell the kids that they’ve got festivals and games booked in for after the summer, and they’re already excited. They’re talking about what festivals they want to go to and who they want to play.

“You always think it’s the seniors who really look forward to the new season, but it’s from P1 up, they all enjoy the experience of a matchday.”


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