Royal Bank RugbyForce 2021 has named Jessica Silcocks (30) of Garioch RFC as one of 10 winners of the inaugural Young Ambassador programme.
In a drive to get more young people into club boardrooms and to improve diversity and representation in rugby, the Young Ambassador programme see’s grassroots heroes aged 18-35 from amateur clubs across the length and breadth of Scotland put forward ideas for projects that will help their club to create stronger connections with their local communities, build a legacy and make positive societal change.
Coming out on top against competition from across the country, Jessica’s Young Ambassador programme will see her use her role as the current Ladies captain at Garioch RFC to increase female youth participation numbers at the club and create a sustainable pathway through the age groups to the senior women’s section.
The plan will also bring current players into the coaching set-up, upskilling their coaching abilities to improve both the quality and availability of coaching within the local area for aspiring female players.
The 10 winners who will receive funding for their project were recently welcomed to the inaugural Young Ambassador forum by former Scotland International Rory Lawson.
Speaking via Zoom, former Scotland International Rory Lawson revealed details of the inspirational training and behind the scenes experiences with the Scotland International squads that the winners are set to receive over the next few months.
The training provided will help Young Ambassadors develop key skills for club management including financial and social media capabilities and guidance on how to help their clubs attract members.
The announcement comes as the Scottish Government confirms the move to level 0 and the relaxation of much of the current lockdown restrictions.
Delivered in partnership between Scottish Rugby and Royal Bank of Scotland, the Young Ambassador project is the latest extension to the RugbyForce programme which provides vital funding to Scotland’s grassroots clubs, recognising that many are facing unprecedented financial pressures in the wake of the pandemic.
Since 2009, the RugbyForce programme has distributed more than half a million pounds, directly benefiting more than three-quarters of amateur rugby clubs in Scotland.
Malcolm Buchanan, chairman, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scotland Board, said: “The Young Ambassador programme is a fantastic addition to the RugbyForce programme for 2021 and reaffirms our long term commitment to the grassroots game in Scotland.
“Jessica fully deserves the award and we’re looking forward to supporting her in achieving positive societal change through the Young Ambassador programme.
“Developing the next generation of community club leaders, ensuring greater diversity within grassroots committees and equipping clubs with the necessary skills to be truly inclusive and representative will be of huge benefit to the sustainability of rugby in Scotland”.
For more information on Royal Bank RugbyForce 2021, please visit: https://www.scottishrugby.org/clubs-and-schools/support-for-clubs/rugbyforce