High school teams have energy for Warriors Championship

From left Charlie Johnston, Andrew Johnston (Oban High School coach and father of Charlie and Jack) and Jack Johnston at the 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship launch at Scottish Power HQ in Glasgow. Photograph: © Craig Watson

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Oban High School is gearing up for the 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship on Wednesday March 18.

Forty five pupils will take part in the sixth week of qualifying in this year’s schools rugby tournament at Scotstoun, the home of Glasgow Warriors.

Oban are up against St Paul’s High School, Coatbridge High School, Douglas Ewart High School and Balfron High School with the aim to make the tournament’s showpiece final on Friday May 15 at Scotstoun before the Guinness PRO14 match between Glasgow Warriors and Ospreys.

A total of 1,215 boys and girls from 27 schools across west, central and southern Scotland are battling it out to be crowned champions of the 2020 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship.

Each school is taking part in qualifying rounds at Scotstoun with S1 and S2 boys’ teams competing alongside an under-15s girls’ team.

Oban High School competed in last year’s edition of the SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship and relished the opportunity to be involved again.

Oban coach Andrew Johnston, whose children Charlie and Jack are taking part this year, said: ‘It’s an amazing opportunity for all our players to be involved in a high profile competition thanks to SP Energy Networks and Glasgow Warriors.

‘It helps raise awareness of rugby in our area. The youngsters had a fantastic time last year. They were buzzing to come back.

‘The boys are looking sharp and hopefully they can make an impact and the girls have been together as a group since under-12s which is great.’

Charlie, a member of Oban High School’s girls team, added: ‘I started playing rugby in P1. It’s a great sport and lots of my friends play.

‘I want to play for Scotland when I’m older and this event helps me become a better player.

‘I scored quite a few tries last year and loved the event. Hopefully I can do the same again in 2020.’

This is the third year Glasgow Warriors’ official Community Partner, SP Energy Networks, has supported the championship that aims to raise awareness and improve access to grassroots level rugby while promoting active and healthy lifestyles to young people.

The championship and important community engagement it generates, also seeks to recognise sport as a valuable life tool in teaching children about team working, leadership and communication skills.

A new record of 405 girls are taking part this year. Supporting women and girls on the pitch is mirrored in SP Energy Networks’ support of women in
the workplace through activities like apprenticeships, women returners’ programmes and their #NotJustForBoys campaign in partnership with the Scotland Women Rugby team.