AGM: Wednesday 29th July

Biggar RFC held their first, and hopefully last, virtual AGM last week.

With Secretary Mike Booth hosting the event remotely and with all the various reports added to the website for reading prior to the event there was really just the formalities to complete.

Outgoing President John Bogle gave his report. He recorded his pride in being in post over a very successful two years across all sections of Biggar RFC although the disappointment in the SRU decision to render last season null and void and no promotion was still very hard to take. John thanked all those who had given support with sepcial mention to Secretary Mike Booth who has fought tooth and nail with the SRU regarding the promotion issues and to retiring Senior Vice President Dr Doug Ward who has given many years of sterling service to the club.

It was then over to Treasurer Nigel Pacey to add a few points to the issued Financial report. Finances are currently generally good but when there is nothing happening there is no expenditure. A large increase in expenditure is expected now that training is about to resume with a probable lag in income as a result of not knowing what type of season will play out.

Memberships are now due and the club is very keen that members continue to show their support for their club by continuing to be members and to pay asap.

Mike Booth then read through the nominations for Office Bearer and committee posts. These are as follows:

President: James Orr

Senior Vice President: Rab Ramsay

Vice President: Gordon Young

Past President: John Bogle

Secretary: Mike Booth

Treasurer: Nigel Pacey

Club Manager: Gordon Young

Match and Fixture Secretary: John Jackson

Referee Secretary: Rab Ramsay

Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer: Alistair Stewart

Club Captain: Euan Sanderson

Convenors

House and Fabric: Nigel Pacey

Sponsorship and Membership: Gordon Young

Social: position vacant

Merchandising: Ian Notman and Gordon Young

Field: Hugh Barr

Playing

Senior Men: Ian Notman

1st XV Manager: Ian Warnock

2nd and 3rd XV: Andrew Howatson

Senior Ladies: John Bogle

Colts: Graeme Watson

Youth

Boys: Paula Yardley

Girls: Tammy Mitchell

Mini and Micro: Laura Watson

Trust

Chair: Peter McDonald

Members: Keith Fulton, Denis Lavery, Dougie Low, Alistair Stewart

Secretary: Mike Booth

Minutes from Biggar RFC AGM 2019

Please click on this link to see last years Minutes.

AGM-Minutes-2019-Correct

Treasurers Report to Biggar RFC – Nigel Pacey

Dear Members,

When I reported 12 months ago on our 18‐19 results we were able to state we had repaid our bank

loan and returned a small surplus with the aim of continuing the same trend for the next few years

so that we built up some reserves and were able to repay our outstanding private loan of £16k which

was taken out in 2015 to help with cash flow and the redevelopment project, as and when required

without it affecting our day to day operational ability.

I am happy to report that we achieved this, as the accounts show. We were only marginally

impacted by the Covid‐19 Lockdown although it did prevent us from running a profitable last home

game and thus our income is slightly reduced. The greater impact of Covid‐19 will show in our 20‐21

results. Our financial performance was not dissimilar to the previous year with variations that were

anticipated, some changes in grant funding that we know will fluctuate from year to year. An

increase in youth membership rates for 19‐20 ensured that we were able to widen the opportunities

that Academy can provide and we were able to ensure that this was expanded by the recruitment of

another assistant and hopefully the youth coaches and parents see and appreciate the benefit and

investment that the club is making in this area. We continue to look for external funding to support

our development activities both through the Academy and school development programme and

appreciate the support of both the SRU and local sponsors and charities.

As you will see the net movement in funds is just under £20k, the accounting format makes it

difficult to see how specific areas function and so we have implemented a good system of cost

control and try and categorise all areas of expenditure into a few headings so we can see what we

spend in respective areas and thus can control costs as best we can. We continue to invest in the

facility and seek grant funding where we can, but some areas do require full input from the club. We

have agreed how to write down our investments with the accountants so that the value of the club

is not over inflated at any stage as some equipment needs writing off quicker than would be normal

due to the nature of club activities. Our income levels remain stable and are spread over a wide

number of sources and so we are not too dependent on one source and so can accommodate

fluctuations in income without too much impact. We have benefited significantly from the SRU

revamp of its funding for clubs and hopefully this will continue although we are in very uncertain

times at the moment.

Biggar RFC Ltd which is responsible for our trading activities performed well again and has had to

write off a small amount of stock due to Covid‐19 and this was reflected in the 19‐20 accounts but

will see very different results for 20‐21 as it has not been able to trade since mid‐March and is

unlikely to do so again until September.

I am happy to answer questions on any specific details of the accounts either as part of the meeting

or afterwards if anyone wishes to understand in more detail the financial workings of the club.

I would like to express my thanks to everyone at the club for working with and supporting the

finance group, to run what is now becoming an efficient and controlled financial system and in

particular to Peter McDonald and Gordon Young who assist me with forming the group which allows

me to have two knowledgeable club members to discuss matters with on a regular basis.

Finally, a brief update on where we are given the major impact Covid‐19 has had on our finances

since March. We have spent much of the last 4 months trying to minimise costs, search out grant

support for our ongoing costs and try and model what might happen in 20‐21. Whilst we still have no

certainty over the forthcoming playing season, we believe that we can weather the effects of the

anticipated lack of income albeit we will have to cut some costs. We have been successful in

securing some grant income, government Furlough support and are still looking at other potential

forms of grant income and have resisted the offers to defer any expenditure so we know we are

keeping up to date with our liabilities and not incurring future debt.

We still need to generate Membership and Sponsorship income of around £75k to stay solvent and

have estimated a reduced level of income from that we received in 19‐20 for our trading activities.

Once we know the season format we will be able to add more detail to our cash flow modelling

but please rest assured we are looking at matters closely and regularly in an effort to ensure the long

term stability of the club although we think it unlikely we will produce a trading surplus in 20‐21 and

will show a loss in the accounts.

Nigel Pacey

25th July 2020

Club Manager Report – Gordon Young

My role of club manager covers many of the money raising aspects of Biggar RFC

Sponsorship

As you will have seen from the accounts the sponsorship for season 2019 /2020 held up well, over £50,000. That is in line with where we have been over the last few years.

The 2020 / 2021 season will be somewhat different with all the problems that Covid-19 has brought to Scottish Rugby, as yet we have no fixture list and no idea where or who we will be playing. Hopefully we will have more information after tomorrows SRU Council and Board meetings.

Without knowing the format of this new season it is very difficult to sell sponsorship.

AS soon as it has been resolved I will be getting the begging letters out and if anyone knows of any company or individual who may be interested in sponsorship please forward me their details.

Membership

Our membership renewal letters will be sent out asap after tonight’s AGM

I am not proposing any membership rate changes.

We hope that all members renew their memberships as we require the income for the club to carry on, no matter what our 2020 / 2021 season looks like.

New members are always welcome.

Social

We had no big weekend this year and I think it was missed, hopefully all will be back to normal by next May.

We need to appoint a new social convenor ASAP.

If anyone has any new ideas for new social events, please speak to me.

Bar

Our bar income was good for the last year, but the next 12 months it will not be in our hands what the income is, it will depend on all the Covid rules and regulations.

Gordon Young

OFFICE BEARERS FOR THE 2020/2021 SEASON

Position Name Proposed Seconded
President James Orr J Bogle Gordon Young
Senior Vice-President Rab Ramsay James Orr J Bogle
Vice-President Gordon Young Nigel Pacey A Stewart
Treasurer Nigel Pacey James Orr Rab Ramsay
Secretary Mike Booth Gordon Young A Stewart
Sponsorship Convenor Gordon Young Mike Booth Nigel Pacey
Social Convenor Position Open
Past President John Bogle James Orr Paula Yardley
House and Fabric Convenor Nigel Pacey Hugh Barr Mike Booth
Field Convenor Hugh Barr Gordon Young Mike Booth
Merchandising Convenors Gordon Young

Ian Notman

Mike Booth A Stewart
Membership Convenor Gordon Young A Stewart N Pacey
Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Officer Alistair Stewart N Pacey J Bogle
Fixture and Match Secretary John Jackson Andrew Howatson Ian Notman
Playing Convenor Ian Notman James Orr John Jackson
1st Team manager Ian Warnock Gordon Young I Notman
2nd and 3rd Team Manager Andrew Howatson Ian Notman G Watson
Colts Convenor Graeme Watson Andrew Howatson Al Stewart
Midi Convenor Paula Yardley Tammy Mitchell Graeme Watson
Mini Convenor Laura Watson Paula Yardley Tammy Mitchell
Ladies Convenor John Bogle Tammy Mitchell Laura Watson
Girls Convenor Tammy Mitchell Laura Watson Paula Yardley
Club Captain Euan Sanderson Ian Notman Graeme Watson

Those in RED Highlighted are the only moving positions

The Position of Social Convenor remains open at present – all offers of assistance to the Club Manager please

Senior Coaching Report – David Wilson

A new league and new challenges lay in waiting for Biggar 1ST XV for season 2019/20. As previous seasons National 2 champions there was curiosity as to how we would cope. The squad was bolstered by some new and experienced arrivals to strengthen, develop and nurture a relatively young group of players. Craig Borthwick, Richard Bassett, Andrew Jardine, Rory Hutton and Mark Bertram brought a wealth of experience and necessary leadership to the group. At the other end of the scale we were able to recruit a young and exciting prospect in Jamie Campbell having played for the National U18 squad.

On the coaching front Gary Mercer moved on to take up a new role as Director of Rugby at Ashville College and it would be remiss of me not to thank him for all his hard work, enthusiasm and leadership as Biggar’s head coach for the previous 3 seasons. One of the most enthusiastic and genuine blokes you will ever meet.

So, to the season; from the outset Biggar set their stall out and before long it was evident that we would be a force to be reckoned with playing a brand of rugby that could squeeze the opposition at set piece and allowing the team to play with tempo and pace. The pack were comfortably the most accomplished scrummaging and lineout unit in the division by far; and it was great to see this being the most significant development throughout the season. Rugby is quite a simple game when you have a strong set piece that delivers front foot ball. This platform allowed the backs to demonstrate the pace of our strike runners to threaten when execution and decisions were effective. It was the ability to play both a forward dominant game with width and tempo that challenged our opponents. Off the ball our defensive identity was there for all to see!

It soon became clear that it was a two horse race for the one promotion spot. Heriots were a good team and worthy challengers throughout but the physicality and dominance of our winning performances at Goldenacre coupled with our doggedness and resilience at Hartreemill highlighted our credentials as worthy title winners. However, the consistency and mental psychology of the squad performances throughout the league campaign paved the way for success. Very well done to all involved.

Credit rightly goes to the players who turned up with good numbers to training week in and week out and set about looking to improve their technical and tactical skill set. However, this is supplemented by a coaching, medical and management collective to ensure the players had the best resources made available to enable this to happen. Thanks to Dougie Fleming and Craig Borthwick as co-coaches for their input throughout the season; on the medical front excellent player welfare was provided by Alison, Karina and Lauren to keep the boys on the pitch and a critical element of the jigsaw. Off the field thanks to the support of Ian Notman, Ian Warnock and Jim Yuile for their continued efforts and support to the squad.

To the supporters, I know that both myself and the playing group are very appreciative and thankful of the unwavering attendance at home and away fixtures which helps enormously to spur the lads on week in and week out – not many clubs can boast this kind of support.

We are also likely to see some player turn over as is the norm at the end of any season but the one definite departure I know of and would like to thank, is Robbie Lavery for his contribution and commitment as a player over his time at Biggar. I would hope to see him down at the club and involved in some capacity if at all possible.

It has been an excellent season and a thoroughly deserved championship win for the group and something to be very proud of considering this has happened over 2 consecutive seasons. Our promotion to the Premiership at this stage has been denied due to a null and void call from the SRU which is bitterly disappointing and quite frankly unfair and very definitely not in the spirit of the game. A difficult pill to swallow and a massive disappointment for all at Biggar. At this stage we have one final roll of the dice through the AGM but whatever the outcome and whatever the shape is of this season to come I know that there is still a great deal of learning and growth to happen with this squad. If we have to do it again then that’s what we do! Move on and continue to move up!

In the words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”

Nearly time to roll the sleeves up again men……. See you all soon enough!

Davey Wilson.

2nd XV Report: Andrew Howatson and Calum Taylor 

In many ways I feel this has been a good season for the 2nd team at Biggar. Whilst the 7th place finish was a little disappointing, we are competing in a league in which we have historically struggled and this year we have had a very a high proportion of players in the 18-23 age category.

Being new to the coaching team I set out the year with a few objectives – to give meaningful training sessions for 2nd team players; to improve the links between 1st and 2nds teams; and to have a development perspective which will retain and improve players whilst providing an appropriate challenge. 

In the most part I feel we have been successful in these, despite the COVID lay off. The challenge will now be keeping this momentum going through these challenging times where team sports across the board could struggle. I hope to retain almost all of the players who played with the squad last year whilst welcoming in the upcoming colts and others who wishing to join the ranks. 

Numbers have been consistent with a core of 8-10 committed players every week with the extra places being made up week to week by other bodies. We could absolutely do with more committed players which will drive competition towards both 1st XV and 2nd XV places and provide better experiences at training. My hope is that this will improve as we continue to welcome more new players and colts up to senior rugby. 

This is a challenge all about retention and making sure players don’t feel tempted to go elsewhere for their rugby experience. Players must enjoy the overall experience so social has been as important as on pitch this year. Bus trips were and will be an important part of this and I want to thank the committee for their support on this. 

To the season itself: many games were close affairs with 6 of them being decided by 7 points or less. 3 games were called off due to player numbers: only 1 of these due to Biggar not able to raise a team on a week with lots of injuries and unavailability across the board).

Particular games of note were beating Edinburgh Accies home and away by 3 and 6 points respectively, and beating Musselburgh (runners up in the league) by 2 points away from home.

On our day we would compete and be capable of beating all teams in the league but inexperience led us to not killing off games we could / should have won on a number of occasions. 

Stats for the season:

Played: 14

Games won: 6

Games lost: 8

Points scored: 260

Points conceded: 327

We look forward to next season, whichever shape it takes and are looking forward to welcoming back a number of ex Biggar players in both playing and coaching capacities. 

CLUB CAPTAIN REPORT: Euan Sanderson

Evening folks, I hope everyone is well.

Firstly, I apologise for not making tonight but there some whole crop needing done at home.

Before I start I’m also going to say what an honour it was to become club captain for this club. People who know me will know how much it means to me, it’s something I cherish, to be able to represent you all whether it’s on or off the pitch.

One thing that can be said for sure is that there has never been a season like it.

Losing your head coach before the league season kicked off, winning the league with 2 games spare, a pandemic breaking out, promotion taken away from us.

I think we can also safely say there won’t be another season like it.

Regarding the first team, this season was unreal, before it all started, there were chirps from other teams that we won’t be able to hack the bigger teams, will be straight back down.

Aye good one.

We were by far the better team in the league, and I’ve never been part of a team that is so capable of executing a game plan and playing to they’re strengths. The squad was so tight with the boys that came in really buying into the process. The returning boys and specifically Bass and Borth made a great difference. Borth and Davie adding a professionalism that a lot of us boys had not experienced before, and it has to be said it makes it so much more enjoyable to be able to focus on the finer details.

Highlights would include beating all of the previous premiership clubs’ home and away, the Melrose and Heriots victories in particular. The sorest point without doubt was the early loss to Highland, however justice was served with a 31-0 hammering at home. That game was thoroughly enjoyable!

The last day, before it all went wrong, up at Stirling will, like Peebles the previous season, stay with me forever. Lifting the trophy with all the incredible support and the boys was phenomenal. A special thanks goes to the supporters who are without doubt the best in the league, the crowd at the green yards that horrible day was amazing.

Special thanks also have to go coaches and convenors, Davie, Dougie, Borth, Howie, Notty and everyone else have been brilliant in believing in the boys and letting us do our stuff. Sounds silly but it was a heck of a lot of fun and incredibly enjoyable which after all is what it’s about.

Thanks, must go to the committee for fighting our corner against the SRU, specifically Mike, who has been tenacious and really found them out. Also for the buses throughout the year, they are a key part of what it is to be a first team player at Biggar.

Now we all know what happened after that and I’m afraid with the organisation at the top nothing is likely to change, we’ve been robbed, no other way to explain. Its soul destroying for boys who have been literally putting their bodies on the line for a shot at the premiership. Sadly, the SRU just don’t care.

However I really want to make the point that just because of what has happened does not mean last year didn’t count, yep we haven’t been promoted, but we certainly won the league, and I sincerely hope we give it back with our name engraved on it. Too much hard work was put in to not have it recognised. We must be the first club in history to hold both trophies at the same time.

Anyway, on wards and upwards, the boys want to keep getting better and the only way to get back at the SRU is by being too good for them. That’s the motivation and I hope we get some justice. Looking forward to seeing everyone whenever the season gets going.

Yours in rugby,

Euan

Ladies & Girls Report: Tammy Mitchell

Girls –

The 2019/20 Season saw the introduction of new age banding in the girl’s game – U18, U16, U14 and U12.

The restructure of age banding lead to changes in the competitive rugby structure as well as changes in the AGLV’s (Age Grade Law Variations). Competitive rugby took place in SRU (Scottish Rugby Union) festivals. Unfortunately, frustrations and disappointment did accompany this season due to the drop in opportunity for the higher level of rugby our teams have been building over the previous seasons, however the players did apply themselves and make the most of the festival competitions in the hope of enjoying a more competitive Cup competition following the winter break. Entering the Cup at both U16 and U18 required a little help from our friends. As we where limited by our own playing numbers this season at both U16 and U18 we worked along with Annan and Strathaven Girls to allow us to enter a composite team at both age groups. Sadly, due to weather and then the Covid 19 pandemic the Cup competition did not reach a conclusion.

The Girls section did two bag packs (Tesco £533.70, Co-op £508.43) and a tombola (£300) at Symington’s Village day to raise funds towards a tour/trip; unfortunately, this too was unable to go ahead due to Covid 19.

We arranged a trip to Scotstoun on the 17th November to watch Scotland Ladies play Wales in their Autumn International. An added bonus of being present for Sarah Denholm’s first Cap for Scotland 1stXV was very much enjoyed by the 30 plus players and coaches attending.

Age Grade Representation

U18 Scotland 7s: Geraldine Kimm, Emma Orr & Rachel Philipps.

Geraldine Kimm and Kaylee Fraser attended U18 Futures program.

Scotland 1st XV Ladies Squad Sarah Denholm – this is following Sarah’s 1st cap with the Scotland 7s squad at the end of June. Sarah achieved her first full 1st XV cap against Wales on the 17th November.

Ladies –

The Ladies team competed in a West League between September and November, although pulling a fully squad together was a struggle for each game and three games had to be forfeited. The games we did fulfill were very good which resulted in a third place in the final league standing.

The 3rd finish in the League meant we where entered into the National Bowl which, as with many other fixtures this season, was severally affected by the weather and then was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Credit must be given to Abbie Baillie who took on the Captaincy of the Ladies team this year and put a lot of time and energy into encouraging players to training and games.

Colts Report: Graeme Watson

Season 2019/2020 welcomed the entry to U18 rugby of the previously very successful U16 squad, resulting in a large enough number of boys to allow us to put two squads out on some weekends.

The formation of the Rams Team to support the Colts Team is testament to the success of Biggar Rugby Club and the youth section in particular. The Rams played in the Galant B conference and the Colts in the top Shogun league. There were changes in the coaching team with myself and Fraser Campbell staying in position, but the U16s coaching team of Kenny Lean, Neil Laing, Geoff Smith and Mick Lister joining the ranks, which was needed to run a two team squad. Mick stepped back to join the coaching ranks of the U15, but his input to this group has been significant and this mustn’t have been an easy choice for him. We also gained Andy Barnett as coaching mentor, his drive and input has been invaluable, and the boys have taken a huge amount from his technical expertise and eye for detail in technique, structure and skills. Stuart Harrison stepped down from coaching to take up a coaching role with the S1 team.

Squad numbers at pre-season were far greater than last year and pre-season had a positive and lively feel to things. Similar numbers continued through the first half of the season with typically 25 boys or more training and for 8 weekends we fielded two teams. The U18 squad was bolstered with several boys joining from outwith our typical catchment area. With such a big group of boys, with a spread of ability, skill and experience, success cannot be measured by tries, points and wins alone. The success has to be measured on the number of hours of competitive rugby that the group as a whole have achieved. So, while the Rams may not have topped their league, it has to be considered a successful season for this group and the development in rugby terms of this team has been massive, well done. The Rams finished 5th in their league, just behind Ayr/Wellington. This was a good finish for a tough task with a somewhat makeshift team each week

The Colts again locked horns with the big teams in the Shogun Conference, with 3 of Scotland’s Super 6 club having their U18 teams in this league. The final standing shows that it was only the Super 6 clubs who finished above the Colts and it was only these clubs that we lost to, although we took great delight in taking the Boroughmuir scalp in our first league match on that fantastic Friday night game at Hartree Mill. We were disappointed not to make it into the National Cup play offs but the boys have to be congratulated for their performances, our forwards grew in stature across the season, could retain ball for countless phases and our three quarters developed into a superb back line with the ability to open up any defences in the league. This was clear in the West Cup, where we were unbeaten and the final game before the lockdown curtailed the competition, we played some fantastic rugby with the experiences gained in the league apparent to see.

The season was very disrupted by the weather in January and February and along with the Covid situation has resulted in very little rugby in the second half of the season. It’s disappointing but unavoidable and we look forward to getting back together as soon as we can for next season. Due to a lack of games we were unable to transition any of our boys to the senior group as boys became eligible, although one of the older 2nd year U18 boys chose to play for the 2nds instead of the U18’s for all of the season. Some of the U16’s joined us for training towards the end of the season and all showed up very well. Fraser Campbell has stepped down as forwards coach, his input over the last three years has been huge and his input is appreciated by all involved with the U18 group over his period as coach.

All in all a good season for the U18 group with game hours before Christmas significantly eclipsing previous years. With the majority of the boys with us for another year and some real quality joining us from the U16’s next season, whatever form it takes, will be a season to look forward to.

That concludes the Colts Report for season 2019/2020.

MIDI REPORT: Paula Yardley

The first half of the season again saw Biggar Midi teams take part in the SRU Shogun conference. Although some squads struggled to get wins within the conference, their performance improved as the competition progressed.

Numbers remained static in the teams and all could have benefited with more players, a common problem at Clubs in rural locations like ours. A massive well done must go to all our volunteer coaches for running their sessions which engaged the youngsters week in, week out.

The second half of the season……

U15 and U16 were entered in the West Regional Competition and U13 and U14 had friendlies arranged.  Unfortunately, it started as a washout (literally) due to unprecedented & prolonged wet weather conditions. Each week saw a raft of cancellations take place due to either heavy rainfall or snow and plans were underway to extend the season to the end of May for our younger groups to at least allow them to get some matches under their belt…..and then came Covid 19…..

We hope all our players, parents, coaches and volunteers are keeping safe and well & enjoying the posts from Andy Jardine on Facebook to keep their skills and fitness up. We look forward to seeing you all as soon as it’s possible to do so.

The action plan to get into Lanark Grammar in the second half of the season never really kicked off due to the school closures.

In General

We are desperately short of referees for youth matches! If interested, please speak to Paula Yardley or Andy Barnett. Please also let Paula know if you would be interested in coaching, either being assigned to a squad or as a reserve coach who we’d call on for specialist coaching or to cover if we’re short due to holidays, etc. We can arrange it to suit you!

Finally, a huge thanks must go to our army of volunteers, parent helpers and supporters for their commitment during the season, we couldn’t do it without them!

Micro and Mini Report: Laura Watson

MICROS

Coaching Team

Brian Thomas, Katie Mellanby, John Wylie, Anna McDiarmid, Jenny Leech and Eliz Gilchrist.

Eliz Gilchrist was micros team co-ordinator.

We had approx. 30 players attend training each week although we have 37 names on the register. There were good numbers at P1 coming up from Biggar Bairns which has been a huge success. We will have approximately 11 youngsters aged to go up to play P4 rugby next season. Our Micros have done well within the matches/tournaments they have attended. The new season will see a need for new parent helpers/coaches, as Anna McDiarmid has left for university and John Wyllie will move to P4 rugby. Paul Malone will help with P3 rugby and Jenny Leech will help with the micros coaching as well as the administration/registration. Julia Miller will help John Wyllie with P4 rugby next season.

P4

Playing numbers at Start of Season

Playing numbers at end of Season

14

16

Coaching Team

Brian Gilchrist and David Murray. Eliz Gilchrist is the team co-ordinator.

The P4 team of players grew in confidence and were gelling as a team. As it was the first year of contact rugby, this is always a difficult age group to retain all from P3, however, this was the case (and they gained a few as well!). Brian, David (Muz) and Eliz will continue to P5 rugby.

P5

Playing numbers at Start of Season

Playing numbers at end of Season

14

14

Coaching Team

Rob McCuaig, Stuart Plenderleith, Gordon Smalls, Riki White.

Cheryl McCuaig is the team co-ordinator.

The P5 numbers and players stayed the same since the start of the season and they have a great wee team. Rob, Stuart, Gordon, Riki and Cheryl will continue to P6 rugby.

P6

Playing numbers at Start of Season

Playing number at end of Season

18

20

Coaching Team

Pete Tennant, Donald Stewart, Dougie Low.

Pam Tennant is team co-ordinator.

The P6 group is mixed with 5 girls included in the numbers. They are really starting to gel and were gaining confidence. We have been able to field 2 teams at this age group at some of the matches/festivals. This team also had an additional nights training during the week. Pete, Donald, Dougie and Pam will continue to P7 rugby.

P7

Playing numbers at Start of Season

Playing number at end of Season

12

11

Coaching Team

Gavin Cairns, Scott Brotherstone, Aaron Henning.

The P7 group have a team of great rugby players even though there is not many of them. Hopefully more players will be recruited from High School as they move up to S1 level, Gavin, Scott and Aaron will continue to S1 midi rugby.

Summary

This season was very strange in more ways than one! The season saw us starting in August 2019 and ending in March 2020 (due to COVID-19) with us having close to 100 children registered as micros and minis. Also, in December, January and February, we had many games cancelled due to weather and waterlogged pitches. Next season we hope to see the same players returning and player retention will be a focus considering we have not played or trained for a number of months.

Our mini tournament on 8th September 2019 was another great success with approx. 370 children and 8 teams at each age group P4-P7. The prizes were a bit different, as the SRU directive was more about participation rather than the winning at festivals. Therefore, we had ‘Most Tries Scored’ and ‘Spirit of Rugby’ awards at each age group.

P4 Most Tries Scored – Dumfries Saints

P4 Spirit of Rugby – Boroughmuir A

P5 Most Tries Scored – Watsonians

P5 Spirit of Rugby – Currie

P6 Most Tries Scored – Stirling County

P6 Spirit of Rugby – Currie

P7 Most Tries Scored – Stirling County

P7 Spirit of Rugby – Melrose

We have seen success for some age groups getting through to semi-finals and finals. Success in mini rugby isn’t as important as teaching our youngsters the values of the game and in this I think we are succeeding as we are complimented on how our players behave at most tournaments/festivals we attend. All coaches across the micros and minis should be commended on their dedication throughout the season and for instilling such a good team spirit within their teams. We also need to thank the team co-ordinators and catering leads, as their help and organisation are instrumental.

Outside of taking part in regular matches/tournaments and festivals this season,

  • P7’s attended Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets on 4th October,
  • P5’s and P6’s attended the Edinburgh v Scarlets game on 26th October,
  • P4’s attended Glasgow Warriors v Sale Sharks at Scotstoun on 16th November
  • P6’s attended the Glasgow Warriors v Zebre game on 14th February.

They either performed in a pre-match festival, guard of honour duties or played in a few half time games.

Fund raising – our P5-P7’s did bag packing in Morrison’s, Lanark in November and raised a great total of £403.16.

The Christmas party was well attended on Sunday 22nd December at Biggar Sports Centre.

There is a swelling of parental support within the Minis and we hope that this continues throughout next season as we would struggle to manage without all of the support we receive, especially on match days.

The micros and mini awards occurred ‘virtually’ at each age group this year due to coronavirus.

Development Officer Report – Andy Barnett

Topics:

  • General overview
  • Progression
  • Planning for the future

General Overview & Progression

Biggar RFC continues to set standards that other clubs look to with envy. The recent award of Community Club of the Year proves that the work the club does throughout the South Lanarkshire area is very much respected. We continue to increase our footprint at as many schools as possible and the introduction of the Ass DO has allowed us to stretch our net to schools we have previously not been to. For example, Carstairs Primary school – we have had a fantastic amount of interest and the Head Teacher has already sent in very positive comments to the Committee about how Biggar RFC input into the school has been invaluable. We continue to build our relationship with Lanark Grammar and Carluke High and are now running an after school rugby squad. With rugby being introduced to S1/2 this allows us to carry on the work we do at P7 within the Lanark Primary area.

We continue to encourage volunteers who would like to get more involved with all aspects of rugby and place them into the right courses where appropriate.

The club’s meetings with Ailidh Hood (SRU Regional Manager) go from strength to strength as we achieve our KPI targets set. We achieve these on time and with a well thought out plan to maintain. Ideas that Biggar RFC use are now being adopted by other clubs as best practice.

Numbers continue to be in a healthy state but we will not stop banging the drum on ‘Why Rugby?’ and more importantly why the environment at Biggar RFC is the best to play rugby in or try rugby for the first time.

Looking Forward

More communication between coaches is needed. This had starting happening within the Midi section before lockdown with Monthly meetings taking place and coaches swapping ideas, style of play or just asking questions. Nic Humphries has a detailed plan (Biggar Picture) for all sections on the Youth side and this will be presented very shortly. Discussions are ongoing around having a dedicated Director of Youth Rugby to help streamline and put in place recommendations from the ‘Biggar Picture’.

On a personnel note my family and I would like to thank everyone associated with Biggar RFC for the support you have shown over the last few months during the lockdown. I hope everyone is safe and I look forward to seeing you all very shortly back at the club that means so much to us all.

Andrew Barnett

Biggar RFC

Development Officer.

Academy 2019-20: Nic Humphries – Academy Manager

HYPERS

45 players attended Hypers this season. Training an extra 4 hours each week on top of team and regional training. We had a senior/junior split with the senior players undertaking individual gym programs whilst the juniors progress through athletic development programs. The focus is still on technical and tactical skills development with fitness measurements taken regularly through the season.

We look forward to Hypers returning in August with a smaller focused group of 30 players attending 3 times a week as the push for further development is sought. A huge thank you to Andy Jardine and Donald Voas for their commitment and huge efforts in supporting the players and Hypers.

ACADEMY

The whole club academy saw a July start with a focus on pre-season fitness which quickly progressed to a fitness maintenance program alongside skill development. Squads train across two age groups. The early part of the year was hit hard with a very wet February and March and then Covid-19 so the year feels very unfinished.

However this year will see the launch of the ‘Biggar Picture’ – a player passport that will support the coaches to help develop players even further and involve parents in this development too. The academy will look to support nutritional, physical and mental aspects through the Biggar Picture. However, we will have to wait for the guidance to further relax before the academy will start again this season. We will keep you updated.