Eastwood High School through to SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship semi-finals
The sun broke through at Scotstoun last Wednesday, making conditions perfect for attacking rugby during round four of the 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship.
All five competing schools did not disappoint producing some
brilliant running rugby, taking full advantage of the benign weather
Round four brought together Stonelaw High School,
Jordanhill School, North West Community Campus, Lockerbie Academy and Eastwood
High School as 225 players competed across 30 matches.
It was Eastwood High School who progressed through to the
semi-finals, edging past impressive tournament debutants Lockerbie Academy.
Last year’s finalists won nine, drew one and lost two of
their 12 matches, scoring 63 tries in the process.
Each school had S1 and S2 boys’ teams and an under-15s
girls’ team competing with a total of 227 tries scored during the day’s action.
This is the third year Glasgow Warriors’ official Community
Partner, SP Energy Networks, have supported the Championship that aims to raise
awareness and improve access to grassroots level rugby – whilst also promoting
active and healthy lifestyles to young people.
The Championship, and 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.
A total of 1,215 boys and girls from 27 schools across west,
central and southern Scotland are battling it out to be crowned 2020 champions.
Eastwood High School rugby coach Gordon Reid said: “I
think there was some excellent rugby played by all five schools and we just
managed to sneak through to the semi-finals which is great.
“It was a tougher qualifying week compared to last year
and the quality of rugby across the board has definitely improved.
“Half our kids competing this year are new to the
tournament and all three teams had to work hard for their wins so we are very
proud to get through.
“The weather obviously helps but the players were
buzzing all day and really enjoyed themselves.”
He added: “We now have upwards of 110 S1 to S3 kids
playing at the school so rugby is doing really well.
“We’re trying to introduce kids into a good rugby
environment like this where they can learn the values of the game.”
Eastwood girls’ captain Melody Nehme led her team expertly
as they went unbeaten, winning three and drawing one of their four matches.
The 14-year-old said: “I like playing in tournaments
such as this, the competitive aspect of the matches and getting to know people
from other schools.
“It feels amazing playing at Scotstoun and playing for
Scotland Women when I’m older would be brilliant.
“I absolutely love rugby and also being captain where
you can help motivate your team.
“Captaincy can make you stronger and more confident as
a person and walking on the pitch with all the players makes me feel very
Jordanhill S2 skipper Keith Scott is no stranger to
Scotstoun; the 13-year-old is a Glasgow Warriors ball boy and can be
seen pacing the track at Scotstoun during home matches.
He said: “It is great fun being a ball boy and I get to
watch up close my favourite player Jonny Gray at most home games.
“Being back at Scotstoun again playing is really fun.
“A lot of responsibility comes with captaincy but at
the end of the day, it’s enjoyable.
“We have a close bond as a group and rugby allows you
to meet and make new friends.
“You can be any size to play rugby as well so I would recommend
anyone to give it a try.”
A record number of 405 girls are taking part in the 2020 SP
Energy Networks Warriors Championship.
Supporting women and girls on the pitch is mirrored in SP
Energy Networks’ support of women in the workplace through activities like
apprenticeships, women returners’ programmes and their #NotJustForBoys campaign
in partnership with the Scotland Women Rugby team.
Lockerbie Academy girls’ captain Hannah Colledge enjoyed her
first run out at Scotstoun saying: “It has been good fun.
“We are new as a team but have come together very well and
quickly created a nice team spirit.
“It’s good to play when the weather is sunny and
hopefully we will be back again next year.”