Hamilton Rugby Club player earns Young Ambassador role

A player at Hamilton Rugby Club has been named one of 10 winners of the Royal Bank RugbyForce 2021 Young Ambassador programme.

Shannon Goundry will now be part of a drive to get more young people into club boardrooms and improve diversity and representation in the sport.

The 22-year-old fought off stiff competition to come out on top but she is already aiming to make a difference in the role.

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Shannon will aim to improve the opportunities for women and girls to take part in rugby throughout Hamilton by creating stronger partnerships between neighbouring clubs and clear pathways through from junior age groups to senior women’s rugby.

The programme looks for grassroots heroes aged between 18 and 35 from amateur clubs across Scotland that can put forward ideas for projects that will help their club create stronger connections in their communities, build a legacy and make positive societal change.

The new Hamilton Ambassador will also look to build on the strong connections already in place between Hamilton Rugby Club and the community, organising family orientated fitness sessions to attract new members to the club and to improve health and fitness in the region.

Hamilton Rugby Club player earns Young Ambassador role
Shannon Goundry hopes to provide more opportunities in rugby

The 10 winners who will receive funding for their project were recently welcomed to the inaugural Young Ambassador forum by former Scotland International Rory Lawson.

Speaking via Zoom, former Scotland International Rory Lawson revealed details of the inspirational training and behind the scenes experiences with the Scotland International squads that the winners are set to receive over the next few months.

The training provided will help Young Ambassadors develop key skills for club management including financial and social media capabilities and guidance on how to help their clubs attract members.

The announcement comes as the Scottish Government confirms the move to level 0 and the relaxation of much of the current lockdown restrictions.

Last season, to support clubs that were forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Royal Bank developed a toolkit for grassroots clubs, including information and advice on remaining financially sustainable when operations had stalled.

The toolkit also included guidance on the support available to clubs, as well as suggestions to safeguard for the future.

The bank also provided ‘Return to Rugby’ kits including social distancing solutions, directional signage and sanitation essentials as well as new bibs, balls and cones to help clubs prepare for re-opening.

Malcolm Buchanan, Chairman, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scotland Board, said: “The Young Ambassador programme is a fantastic addition to the RugbyForce programme for 2021 and reaffirms our long term commitment to the grassroots game in Scotland.

“Shannon fully deserves the award and we’re looking forward to supporting her in achieving positive societal change through the Young Ambassador programme.

“Developing the next generation of community club leaders, ensuring greater diversity within grassroots committees and equipping clubs with the necessary skills to be truly inclusive and representative will be of huge benefit to the sustainability of rugby in Scotland”.

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