IRB Sevens Twinning Project

In May the City of Glasgow was the proud host of the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens for the first time. As part of the wider international HSBC Sevens World Series the event saw 16 of the worlds best international rugby sevens countries compete in a top class international rugby event at Scotstoun. Hosting the event at Scotstoun prided a fantastic platform to establish the city and the stadium as an international rugby venue as we move towards Glasgow Warriors relocation to Scotstoun and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

​Community Programme 

The development of grassroots rugby in the City is well established with 5 jointly funded rugby development staff working in all areas of the City to grow the game. In the past 4 years we have increased the number of rugby playing state Secondary schools from 3 to 18 and have school club links in over 100 Primary schools.

Scottish Rugby, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council’s Education Department coordinated and delivered a comprehensive Glasgow Sevens community programme across a number of areas.

Scotland Sevens

The Scotland 7s squad arrived early in Glasgow, basing themselves at Scotstoun stadium two weeks prior to the Glasgow 7s. Over the course of this period 16 players visited clubs and schools across the whole of the west coast. Players engaged with players, teachers, coaches and even delivered specific rugby sevens coaching sessions.
As well as players visiting clubs and schools 200 children across six secondary and five primary schools attended Scotstoun stadium in the week prior to the event. The children watched the squad train and then had a meet and greet autograph session with players. 

Twinning Project 

The twinning programme saw willing squads ‘twinned’ with Glasgow Primary schools from across the City. The teams visited their twinned schools, taking part in sessions, meeting the children and answering fantastic questions. The arrival of the international Rugby Sevens teams provides a fantastic opportunity to introduce an added learning experience for schools in the City

Breakdown of schools & countries

Schools​ ​Country
​Camstradden Primary ​USA
​Merrylee Primary ​Portugal
​Scotstoun Primary  ​Zimbabwe
​Shawlands Primary ​South Africa
​St Cuthbert's Primary ​Kenya
​St Paul's Primary ​Samoa
​Sunnyside Primary ​Russia
For many of these schools in non-traditional rugby playing areas this was the first tangible experience of professional rugby. Not only was it the children’s first experience of meeting a professional rugby player, but for some, their first encounter with that nationality providing a fantastic cultural experience.

National Welcome 
Two Glasgow Primary schools took part in a national welcoming event at Glasgow International Airport. Yoker & Hyndland primaries took along 50 children and greeted the international teams as they arrived. The welcome was made special for the arriving athletes as the pupils had created flags, banners and t-shirts to add to the experience.

Glasgow Legacy

The Glasgow 2014 Sports Development Legacy programme has been running for 4 years now, providing funding to support Commonwealth sport programmes aimed at increasing their profile and ensuring a legacy after the Games. 

The Rugby 7s Legacy programme has been hugely successful, enabling Rugby Development to deliver to a further 20+ schools across the city, gain access to the Scotland 7s squad and provide specialist coaching to come of Glasgow’s young talent. 

Over the past few years, the programme has included an extensive schools programme, teacher and coach in-service training, a city wide competition programme and specialist coach education for Rugby 7s.

This year, 57 Schools took part in Community events associated with the Glasgow 7s. 480 pupils from 37 Primary schools took part in an IRB Legacy 7s festival while over 100 pupils from 16 Secondary schools took part in Legacy 7s tournaments in the weeks prior to the Glasgow 7s.

The following testimonial from Sunnyside Primary School is an example of the feedback we have had from clubs and schools involved in the project.     

..when we found out about the twinning project, much chatter ensued about which team we’d be allocated.  

The excitement only continued to build when we were able to attend the open training session with the Scotland 7s squad.  The children were very much taken with how approachable the players were and the opportunity to have photographs taken and autographs signed was enthusiastically welcomed by them…and some of the staff in attendance too!

Once we found out that we had been twinned with Russia, the preparation for their visit started.  Every class in the school was keen to be involved and made flags, posters, rugby cartoons and even donned the iconic Glasgow 7s Road Cone Hat!

The visit from the Russian team lived up to all that we had hoped for.  It was lovely for the P6 class to be given the opportunity to play a few games with the team and have their photographs taken.  When the team were introduced to the school, the enthusiasm for their visit was clearly evident in the cheers and whoops they received.  We hope they liked their gifts and good luck messages too.

The feedback I’ve had from both staff and pupils today has been extremely positive and I’d just like to thank you once more on our behalf for all of your hard work in organising this experience.
I’m sure it’s one they will remember for a long time.” 

Lisa Perrie, Principal Teacher, Sunnyside Primary School

We have a fantastic opportunity to further develop the programme as a cultural learning experience for young people in Glasgow as we build towards the Commonwealth Games on 2014

…. thanks for the session with the kids, players enjoyed it very worthwhile experience hope the school enjoyed!” (Henry Paul, Head Coach Russia/ Russia 7s)
“The event was fantastic. Well run and efficient. The players and staff thoroughly enjoyed the experience.” (Sebastian Prim, Team Manager Springbok 7s) 

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