Community coach recognised for commitment to youth rugby

Lochaber RFC Youth Rugby coach Stevie McAleer gives advice to young players during a pause in their match. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

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Lochaber RFC’s director of youth rugby, Stevie McAleer, has been named as Volunteer of the Season within Scottish Rugby’s Caledonia North Region Community Recognition Awards.

Stevie has kept rugby growing within Lochaber at both club and school level and was presented with his award by the Caledonian North Region Development Team last week.

Stevie described the honour as ‘a real shock’ and ‘humbling’.

‘I have a very small but dedicated team of volunteers, parents, a very supportive club president and an equally supportive wife,’ he added.

‘Youth rugby has been growing over the past four or five years at Lochaber Rugby Club and this year, for the first time in about 22 years, we managed to enter an Under-18 boys team into a league structure.

‘This has provided not only players from Lochaber but also Oban and Mull with the opportunity to play the sport and be competitive.

‘We’re also making strides with S1 and S2 girls, entering teams into festival rugby and continuing our team growth.’

Stevie has dedicated nearly 10 years to the role of youth coordinator at Lochaber RFC and during that time has been responsible for organising and coaching at weekly youth rugby sessions and tournaments.

When he is not delivering rugby to the youngsters of Lochaber, Stevie is working hard in the background to organise catering, transport and additional coaching resources.

A representative from the club said: ‘Lochaber Rugby Club is extremely thankful and proud of what Stevie has achieved, a true testament to the commitment, organisation and belief from himself and also the team of volunteers that work hard week in week out to keep rugby growing throughout Lochaber.

The Community Recognition Awards is Scottish Rugby’s annual domestic game awards programme, focusing on the on and off-field efforts of clubs and schools across Scotland over the course of the season.

Anyone wishing to join Lochaber RFC’s volunteers or would like to find out more
about opportunities to play rugby at its Banavie base should go to
lochaberrfc.co.uk or contact the club by emailing lochaberrugbyclub@gmail.com.