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The future of rugby in Oban looks bright if attendance across the thriving mini rugby ranks is anything to go by.
More than 100 youngsters are now registered with Oban Lorne Rugby Football Club with around 75 regularly turning out for Wednesday night training sessions between 6pm-7pm.
The club’s grassroots section is proving so popular it now caters for all primary school children, boys and girls.
They train across three groups P1/2/3, P4/5 and P6/7.
Former player Walter Speirs said the club is seeing more young rugby fans coming forward than ever before. And with fresh air and fun on the agenda, it’s a healthy sign for children and the sport after the pandemic.
Mr Speirs said the aim of training was to make it fun, which had proved a winner with schoolfriends spreading the word.
His hope is the players of today will be the players of tomorrow by carrying on once they reach Oban High School, then progressing to turning out for the Glencruitten Drive club, which has men’s and ladies senior teams.
And it’s not just training as the mini rugby players go head-to-head in competitive fixtures against teams from Taynuilt, Mull, Lochgilphead and Campbeltown.
Saturday saw the club’s annual general meeting coincide with mini rugby fixtures versus Taynuilt-based Etive Tigers, while the seniors sharpened their fitness with touch rugby sessions.
Mr Speirs said the success in mini rugby would not have been possible without the increase in coaches and thanked everyone who had stepped forward to support the youngsters.
In summer, the team train at the rugby ground between 6-7pm on Wednesdays. In winter they move to the artificial grass pitches at Oban High School.
Oban has a pair of representatives – Selina Keppie and Rowan Sinclair – now playing for the QMU women’s rugby team at Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh.
For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/obanlornerfc/