Royal visit for all-inclusive rugby club

Strathmore Clan United players on the pitch
Strathmore Clan United players on the pitch Image credit:

An all-inclusive rugby club had a royal visit last week which gave the players the opportunity to show off their skills.

Strathmore Clan United arranges games against non-disabled teams with their own boys which include players with various levels of abilities identified by red scrum caps.

The club is part of TRI – Trust Rugby International – which supports disabled people in Scotland by providing controlled matches of the popular sport.

Teammates of The Clan include those with Aspergers, Down Syndrome and autism.

Their competitors take no prisoners on the field, although they ease the pace when they come into contact with a player wearing a red cap.

It’s not just adults which benefit from the initiative, in May they launched sessions for kids on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families to build their confidence and communication skills as well as providing respite for parents and carers.

Strathmore Clan’s commitment to inclusivity was recognised by a royal visit when Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Forfar recently watched from the side-lines during a training session.

Trust chair, Stuart Gray, said: “We are greatly honoured to have had their royal ­highnesses see the work of trust. This is well-deserved recognition for everyone involved in these projects ­benefiting the community of Angus.

“Thanks to all involved, including our funders and sponsors – ­sportscotland, Forfar Common Good Fund, The Robertson Trust and ­Stracathro Estates – as well as our partners Strathmore RFC, Brechin RFC, Scottish Rugby and Scotland Rugby League.”

Chief executive of sport­scotland, Stewart Harris, said: “We are delighted to support the brilliant work being done at Strathmore RFC.”

Trust Rugby International is officially Scotland’s first registered unified rugby club.