The next generation of rugby masterminds could soon emerge from a South Ayrshire Council secondary school thanks to a new coaching academy being launched in Ayr. The Kyle Academy 'Rugby Coaching Academy' is being run in partnership with Ayr Rugby Club.
Part of the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) initiative, South Ayrshire Council has been working with the Prince's Trust and DYW to bring the project to life. The £9,260 plans are being funded by Ayr Community Rugby Trust, DYW Ayrshire, the Prince's Trust and Kyle Academy.
The project will provide students with the opportunity to develop a range of interpersonal skills, practical skills, an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a sports coach, self-evaluation skills, a positive attitude to learning, as well as goal setting for their futures. The project also provides opportunities to gain certification up to the equivalent of higher level and more than 20 hours of practical coaching delivery working with more than 100 young people as well as children from associated primary schools.
Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People said the project worked on many levels, "We're committed to working with partners to improve training and employability opportunities for our young people, and this latest project has the potential to build skills, confidence and increase career prospects.
"The strong partnership with Ayr Rugby Club will help to deliver a practical experience that will make the project particularly attractive to people taking part and I look forward to seeing people progress through the ranks in the months ahead."
Mary Byrne, Head teacher at Kyle Academy said she was looking forward to seeing the project develop, "We know there's a demand for the coaching and our great connections with the local rugby network mean that this new project is well placed to deliver practical skills that can be used for a lifetime.
"We're hoping to see a new generation of rugby coaches emerge from the Academy as we tackle the skills gap and provide first-class opportunities for our young people."
UKCC Coaching certificates, alongside appropriate work experience could give young people an edge when applying for apprenticeships and post school jobs in this sector and beyond.
Claire Baird, DYW Ayrshire Project Executive, said, "We're proud to support the Rugby Coaching Academy project and the potential for providing employment opportunities for young people in a growing sector."
Walter Smith, Prince's Trust Ayrshire Chair said, "The Rugby Coaching Academy project will allow the young people to develop the soft skills that potential employers are looking for, including communication, commitment, teamwork and self-evaluation."
S5 pupil, Georgia Bryden is one of those taking part in the project. She said she was looking forward to getting involved, "The Rugby Coaching Academy is a great opportunity to learn new skills and work with younger pupils. It is good to see them develop their rugby skills and their enjoyment of the sport."