The story so far for reformed Bute Rugby Club

Bute's Thomas Connor on the attack against Shawlands at Oban Lorne's sevens tournament on May 25.
Bute's Thomas Connor on the attack against Shawlands at Oban Lorne's sevens tournament on May 25.

Bute Rugby Club’s Argyll and Bute sevens odyssey concluded at Oban Lorne RFC on Saturday - but while the close season may now have arrived for most of Scotland’s rugby players, Bute have no plans to rest on their laurels over the summer months.

The club has made great strides since being officially restarted in March, delivering rugby sessions to more than 150 of the island’s children.

More than 80 primary school pupils received weekly tag rugby taster sessions, leading to a tag rugby festival at Rothesay Joint Campus on May 16 at which the children taking part were able to test their skills against the island’s other schools.

April saw an after-school rugby club be set up at Rothesay Academy. Around 15 players each week attended to give rugby a try, with a small number of those who are old enough now training with the Bute senior team.

May also saw the start of family tag rugby sessions on a Friday night. For the first few weeks, around 15-20 players of all ages came to learn the non-contact version of the sport, although that record has been smashed thanks to the recent good weather, with 38 players taking to the field, aged from five to their 50s.

On the senior front, Bute’s senior sevens series this month took in trips to Helensburgh and Mull as well as Oban - and while results on the pitch were poor, the team could take pride in their performances. Especially since most had never played a full game of rugby!

Next up are plans to start up a mini rugby section to allow P1-7 pupils to play the sport outside school, while there are hopes of establishing at least one Rothesay Academy rugby team in time for the new school year.

This will allow players to compete against other schools in Argyll, play in the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Cup and have a sense of pride as they represent both the school and the island.

The club’s senior section is now working towards playing some full 15-a-side friendly matches during the 2013-14 season; training will change from one to two sessions each week to allow time for more position-specific work and enabling those who are new to the game to learn more.

The club is also actively looking to recruit volunteers to help out with mini and senior coaching as well as the ‘back room’ jobs which help the club tick over. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, contact secretary Sam Lawrie on sam_lawrie @ btinternet.com (remove the spaces from the email address first!).

* For a full page of action and team shots from the Bute senior team’s Argyll and Bute sevens odyssey during May, don’t miss the May 31 edition of The Buteman - on sale now!