Platform

By Matthews, Hayley | The Scotsman, July 5, 2019 | Go to article overview

Platform


Matthews, Hayley, The Scotsman


M y son Harris is an energetic boy and, for a while, we struggled to find "his thing" to expend it. We've tried gymnastics, Brazilian football, climbing, scooting, and many other activities, but none clicked.

That was until a few months ago when we discovered the gem that is Leith Rugby Youth Development.

One session in and my son was hooked on being part of the Leith Hawks, saying it felt great to be part of a team and we've never looked back.

When we discovered Leith Rugby Youth Development (or LRYD), which was set up by Gordon Anderson, Brian Samson and James Smith in 2016, I had no idea just how positive an energy source the club would be.

Their aim is to provide rugby coaching to the young people of Leith and, through the sport's associated physical, mental and social benefits, help address the social deprivation challenges facing parts of the area.

That is a goal that rings true to me. Attending Leith Academy in the early 1990s was an eye-opener.

We would have really benefited from such a project to keep my peers and I out of trouble. Any encouragement to get young people into sport, giving them a sense of "belonging and involvement" is paramount in this day and age.

A Hibs football coach once stressed to me the importance of getting kids interested in sport to encourage positive relationships and mental well-being.

Every Sunday at Leith Rugby, we are greeted by enthusiastic, passionate and encouraging individuals and I can't begin to explain how much of a positive impact this has had on Harris.

In his own words: "I think Leith Hawks Rugby Club gets kids and adults to learn and have lots of fun. …

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