LANGHOLM Youth Rugby signed off their season in style at their annual celebration and were thrilled to be joined by a surprise special guest.
Jilly McCord, former Langholm player, Scotland women’s captain and finalist on the BBC’s MasterChef programme presented the prizes.
A record number of 183 tickets were sold and, once again,Border Hog Roast got the evening off to a great start.
Castle View Catering, along with Tracey Goodfellow and Kerrie Gordon, supplied delicious cakes and shortbread with a rugby theme and they were very much enjoyed.
There followed a musical PowerPoint display depicting a snapshot of the season showing all which had been achieved and the direction the Youth Section was heading in from Tots to under 18s.
The main story was the journey the section had been on since restructuring in 2015 and the benefits this has brought to the senior 1st XV who gained promotion this season.
This was highlighted by the fact eight players over the past two seasons came through the youth ranks to the senior team.
As well as on-field achievements, the club has had a busy season off the field, including upgrading the Langholm Academy 3G pitch to allow rugby matches for any age groups to be played.
A number of World Rugby and Scottish Rugby Union courses were completed, including UKCC Level 1 and Level 2 coaching, Strength and Conditioning Level 1 and a World Rugby First Aid in Rugby course, all geared towards a stronger future.
The Youth Section worked alongside Langholm Regeneration Group and the Xcel Youth Project in building the Langholm bonfire last November.
Improvements were made at the club and the Youth Section were responsible for decorating the grandstand passageway and helping to refurbish the fitness room.
In conjunction with OutPost Arts and the Xcel Youth Project, a fantastic mural for the grandstand is near to completion and was used as the cover piece to the slideshow.
The slideshow included video messages from Greig Laidlaw (Scotland Rugby), Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons and Scotland Rugby), Davie Oliver (Langholm development officer) and Rocky Johnstone (Hawick development officer) who made special mention to the contribution Bailey Donaldson of Langholm had made to Hawick Youth Rugby over the years.
Gregor Townsend, Scotland Rugby coach, sent a personal message of congratulations to Lauren Graham, P1 coach on her young people’s award at the Annandale & Eskdale Sport awards.
The video came courtesy of Calum Graham of Active Schools and Community Sport.
The slideshow contained pictures of each age group and events the section had attended from the Fiji international at Murrayfield, two trips to Newcastle Falcons and the Falcons’ summer camp at Milntown last summer to the Falcons’ player visit in September with Gary and Guy Graham.
The show concluded with the “local heroes” section, paying special tribute to anyone who had contributed or had a successful season.
This included recognition for Langholm RFC and youth chairman Kenneth Pool for receiving the Rotary Club community service award, Bailey Donaldson for captaining the Scotland U18 Club XV, ex-Langholm youth player Robin “Bomber” Hislop for receiving the players’ player of the year award at his current club, Doncaster Knights, former Langholm girls’ U15 player Lisa Thomson, now the current Scotland women’s’ captain, Craig Hislop, Langholm P6/7 coach, Minis’ convener and 1st XV coach for being nominated for coach of the year and Lauren Graham on winning the young person of the year award.
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