Auchinleck Academy has lifted the Bowl at the Scottish Schools’ Final held at BT Murrayfield on Wednesday 6 December.
The team competed against Oban High School in the Under16’s Competition. They put in a gutsy performance, beating Oban HS 24-21 in a hard fought game.
Teacher Stephen Raby is the inspiration behind the team and ensures that the school is building a rugby culture of respect, hard work and shared values on and off the pitch.
Head of Rugby, Stephen said: “I couldn’t be prouder of my team and of Auchinleck Academy. Since we became a School of Rugby the team has grown from strength to strength. We have a great group of young people who have shown maturity, strength and commitment to reach the finals of this prestigious national competition.
“To lift the Bowl at our first national competition is incredible but this is just the beginning for this fantastic group of young people. They have the ability and more importantly the character to succeed and to become the best they can be.”
The roll out of the Schools of Rugby scheme in East Ayrshire was made possible by a strong partnership between the Council, Scottish Rugby and Kilmarnock and Cumnock rugby clubs.
Auchinleck Academy became a School of Rugby back in 2015, joining Grange, Cumnock and Loudoun Academies. The school is one of 15 Cashback Schools of Rugby in Scotland and was one of only two Cashback school represented at the Scottish Schools’ Final.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council, committed to an investment in the Schools of Rugby as part of his own budget initiatives. He said: “I have visited Stephen Raby at Auchinleck Academy and was very impressed by the young people who are part of the School of Rugby.
“The young people are selected on their ability to perform in and out of the classroom with the programme structured specifically to develop their social, academic and sporting abilities. The school of rugby focuses on player development and lifestyle management. This has a positive impact on their attitude and their schoolwork. It is clear that there are benefits to rugby being part of an enhanced curriculum timetable.
“For many of the future stars of the game, their rugby journey will start at the grassroots. I hope that in the future we will have players representing their club and their country as the sport continues to grow locally but focusing on this win, happiness is definitely egg shaped.”