Falkirk rugby club and high school join forces

26-11-2013. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk High School. Launch of rugby academy with Falkirk RFC. Stewart Milne, Alan Lawson, Paul Larter, Jennifer McKenna, Matt Dodd, Keith Webster and Neil Davies.

26-11-2013. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk High School. Launch of rugby academy with Falkirk RFC. Stewart Milne, Alan Lawson, Paul Larter, Jennifer McKenna, Matt Dodd, Keith Webster and Neil Davies.

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Falkirk High and the local rugby club have joined forces to create a player pathway through the sport, they invited Falkirk Herald Sports Editor David Oliver to the launch this week.

He was speaking at the launch of the new school of rugby at Falkirk High school - developed in partnership with Falkirk rugby club, and the local Community Trust.

CALA Park coach Paul Larter is now splitting his time between the Sunnyside club house and Westburn Avenue to deliver pupils’ rugby-sessions in a bid to potentially develop the stars of the future that the 15-capped former Grangemouth scrum-half and Falkirk High pupil says it so richly deserves.

Working alongside PE teachers such as Neil Davies there is a pathway developed for increased participation in the sport through school and into the Sunnysiders’ club.

Head teacher Keith Webster hopes it will not only build rugby into the curriculum, but sport and healthy lifestyles in general. “I’ve seen the very powerful impact it has had already and can see the positive ethos on school life not just in PE or rugby, but through the whole school.”

The scheme could open up additional school of rugby funding with coach Larter will be at the school temporarily, help him develop his coaching credentials to Level Three with the SRU. Club president Matt Dodd added: “Since Paul has come in he has changed the ethos of the club . He wants to get involved in all aspects and take the club into the community and this is the next step.

“We could be having school midweek sessions and games for the school, followed by games for Falkirk RFC at the weekend.

“Rugby is a sport which takes elements from all sport - the children love the rough and tumble of it and it has the spacial awareness of football and the handling skills of basketball.”

And Larter says they’re already on the way to uncovering some future stars.

“We have Ross Denny - an ex-pupil - in the first team and I’ve already identified five or six players with talent. But this is a project which can increase participation, be it players turning out for fun on a Saturday through to serious involvement taking their game to the next level in first team rugby.”