2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship set to get underway
The 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship kicks off tomorrow at Scotstoun, with a record number of school kids taking part in this year's rugby tournament.
A total of 1,215 boys and girls from 27 schools across west, central and southern Scotland will battle it out to be crowned champions at the home of Glasgow Warriors.
This is the third year Glasgow Warriors’ official Community Partner, SP Energy Networks, have supported the Championship, which aims to raise awareness and improve access to grassroots level rugby whilst also promoting active and healthy lifestyles to young people. The Championship, and the important community engagement it generates, also seeks to recognise sport as a valuable life tool in teaching children about team working, leadership and communication skills.
Each school will take part in qualifying rounds at Scotstoun, beginning tomorrow, with S1 and S2 boys’ teams competing alongside an U15s girls’ team.
A record 405 girls are taking part this year thanks to the addition of two new schools, Lockerbie Academy and Larbert High School.
Lockerbie Academy rugby coach Cammy Little said: "The kids are really looking forward to the tournament.
"We were up for a tour of Glasgow Warriors' facilities just before Christmas, meeting some of the players and playing on the main pitch.
"It was a great experience and from there we got talking about competing in the 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship and jumped at the chance.
"I've only heard good things about the tournament and it's a great opportunity for the pupils to experience playing at Scotstoun against different schools.”
Little, who is a Rugby Development Officer at Moffat Rugby Club added: "I've been involved at the school for four years and in that time we've managed to get teams competing at every age group having started with an after-school club and less than ten kids.
2020"It's great for the school and benefits rugby clubs in the surrounding areas.
"Scotland internationalists Alex Dunbar, Duncan Hodge and Nick De Luca are all products of Lockerbie Academy and we aim to find another boy or girl who can push on to higher honours as well.
Oban High School competed in last year's edition of the SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship and relished the opportunity to be involved again.
Oban coach Andrew Johnston, whose children Charlie and Jack are taking part this year, said: "It's an amazing opportunity for all our players to be involved in a high profile competition thanks to SP Energy Networks and Glasgow Warriors.
"It helps raise awareness of rugby in our area and the kids had a fantastic time last year.
"They were buzzing to come back again.
“The boys are looking sharp and hopefully they can make an impact and the girls have been together as a group since U12s which is great."
Charlie, whose competing for Oban High School's girls' team added: "I started playing rugby in P1. It's a great sport and lots of my friends play.
"I want to play for Scotland when I'm older and this event helps me become a better player.
"I scored quite a few tries last year and loved the event. Hopefully I can do the same again in 2020."
The 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship final will be played before the Guinness PRO14 match between Glasgow Warriors and Ospreys on Friday 15 May.
Q1, Wednesday 5 February
Marr College, Grange Academy, St Andrews RC
Q2, Wednesday 19 February
Loudoun Academy, Largs Academy, St Thomas Aquinas, Larbert High School.
Q3, Wednesday 26 February
Lenzie Academy, Cumnock Schools, Shawlands Academy, Falkirk High School, Wallace Hall Academy.
Q4, Wednesday 4 March
Stonelaw High School, Eastwood High School, Northwest Community Campus, Jordanhill School, Lockerbie Academy.
Q5, Wednesday 11 March
Boclair Academy, Kyle Academy, Annan High School, Carrick Academy, Kirkcudbright High School.
Q6, Wednesday 18 March
St Paul's High School, Oban High School, Coatbridge High School, Douglas Ewart High School, Balfron High School.
Wednesday 22 April
Friday 15 May