We caught up to hear about Watsonian Warriors going from strength to strength…
One of the great sights if you are out for a walk on a Sunday morning near Myreside or Craiglockhart is seeing so many youngsters enjoying themselves as part of the Watsonian Warriors.
Over the pandemic period and coming out of it, Fergus Perks did a brilliant job as the head of the junior section of the club and now Ali Evans and Murray Rudkin - both well-known faces around Myreside - are sharing the role as Watsonians continue to give young boys and girls the chance to shine and, importantly, have fun.
“Fergus did a great job during difficult times and our thanks go to him as he left the Warriors in a position of great strength,” Ali said.
“We now have over 200 youngsters enrolled with the Warriors, while recently, we have held events with other clubs coming to Myreside and Craiglockhart. There have been over 500 kids involved on those days and there has been good feedback.
“While Fergus before us and now myself and Murray head up the section, we could not do it without all the volunteer helpers that get involved plus the support we get from president Richard Kelly, director of rugby Chris Hunter and the wider club.
“There are so many Mums, Dads and others who help out as coaches with the various age grades and they all do a fantastic job come rain or shine.
“Many of them are progressing with their coaching courses which the club helps put them through in association with Scottish Rugby, while we have some people doing refereeing courses and First Aid courses so that we have every base covered.
“Among our parent coaches just now, we are lucky enough to have some former Scotland players, including John Barclay, but helping coach the youngsters is rewarding for everyone, and there are many parents who are new to the game and have got stuck right in.
“The connections with the club allowed us to have some of the Super6 boys down at a training session recently with the trophy and the kids love that while they have also been guards of honour for Super6 and 1st XV games.
“We also have good connections with George Watson’s College, which we are always trying to build on, and myself and Murray are passionate about that because we are both former pupils. We also work closely with head groundsman Craig Eccleston and his team.
“So, things are going really well with the Warriors, and it is great when you put the hard work in to see the boys and girls playing with smiles on their faces on a Sunday.
“It can sometimes be harder to get them going when the weather worsens, but the kids love coming back and we feel there is a really friendly and positive environment for them to play rugby in.”
As recently as November 12, many of the Warriors also had a day out at the Scotland-New Zealand Autumn Test Series clash - we hope to see some of them playing at BT Murrayfield one day.
By Gary Heatly
If you are interested in finding out more, email Ali and Murray via email@example.com