Jack Forster, of Carnoustie HSFP Rugby Club, has been working with the Royal Bank RugbyForce programme, which has now opened for funding applications.
In partnership with Scottish Rugby, the bank is encouraging 18 to 35-year-olds to become Young Ambassadors, tackling issues facing amateur clubs and their local communities to support the future of Scottish Rugby on and off the pitch.
The programme supports grassroots clubs by providing funding to improve facilities, attract new members and encourages them to become true community hubs with a sustainable future.
This year it is seeking 15 Young Ambassadors who will receive specialist training and mentoring to develop key skills for effective club management, including seminars and events led by former Scotland Internationals Jim Hamilton and Rory Lawson.
Each will also be given a £500 grant for a project of their own choosing at their club.
Winners will be selected from all five Scottish Rugby regions in July and will be chosen based on how they would spend the grant as well as the community work that they are currently delivering through their local clubs.
Jack was appointed in 2021, and his programme has seen him implement long-term development plans for the sustainability of his club.
By hosting events and building support networks, he is raising the sport’s profile, connecting with potential players and making the game feel more accessible.
Scotland international Jamie Ritchie said: “Having had the chance to meet last year’s Young Ambassadors and to see first-hand the impact their projects are having, it’s great to see the programme back again.
“It's vital that we encourage every voice to be heard in that process. Grassroots rugby will always be the beating heart of the game and I’d encourage anyone with an idea for how to improve their local club or community to get involved and apply.”
Further details about the programme at www.scottishrugby.org/clubs-and-schools/support-for-clubs/rugbyforce>.
Malcolm Buchanan, Chair, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scotland Board, said: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the introduction of the Young Ambassadors programme last year was a huge success. It showed the important role amateur sport and local clubs play in supporting our communities, and, with the appetite so many young people showed in submitting their ideas and telling us what they did for their club or their towns, how passionate and committed they are to making a positive difference. It made choosing the final ten who were selected as Young Ambassadors a real challenge. All were exceptional and truly inspirational.
“It is vital that we continue to support the next generation of grassroots leaders not only with funding but through advice, mentoring, and upskilling that gives them all the tools required to take leadership roles at their club and to build for a sustainable future.”