A BANNOCKBURN rugby player has been named as a Young Ambassador by Royal Bank RugbyForce.

David Grainey, 34, of Bannockburn RFC, was named as one of 10 winners of the inaugural Young Ambassador programme.

In a drive to get more young people into club boardrooms and to improve diversity and representation in rugby, the Young Ambassador programme see’s grassroots heroes aged 18-35 from amateur clubs across the length and breadth of Scotland put forward ideas for projects that will help their club to create stronger connections with their local communities, build a legacy and make positive societal change.

Coming out on top against competition from across the country, David’s Young Ambassador programme will see him utilise his current role as Mini’s head coach by creating an inter-schools tournament, hosted by Bannockburn RFC, which will bring children from eight local primary schools together to enjoy the experience of playing rugby together and build connections with the club.

With the support of the Young Ambassador programme, David aims to become a rugby development officer in the region, coaching the next generation of local club players.

Throughout the pandemic, the club has offered vital support to its members and the local community by providing online fitness sessions, mental health check ins and volunteering to help the vulnerable and those shielding with tasks such as food shopping.

The 10 winners who will receive funding for their project were recently welcomed to the inaugural Young Ambassador forum by former Scotland International Rory Lawson.

The training provided will help Young Ambassadors develop key skills for club management including financial and social media capabilities and guidance on how to help their clubs attract members. The announcement comes as the Scottish Government confirms the move to level 0 and the relaxation of much of the current lockdown restrictions.

Delivered in partnership between Scottish Rugby and Royal Bank of Scotland, the Young Ambassador project is the latest extension to the RugbyForce programme which provides vital funding to Scotland’s grassroots clubs, recognising that many are facing unprecedented financial pressures in the wake of the pandemic.

Malcolm Buchanan, chairman, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scotland Board, said: “The Young Ambassador programme is a fantastic addition to the RugbyForce programme for 2021 and reaffirms our long term commitment to the grassroots game in Scotland. 

“David fully deserves the award and we’re looking forward to supporting him in achieving positive societal change through the Young Ambassador programme.

“Developing the next generation of community club leaders, ensuring greater diversity within grassroots committees and equipping clubs with the necessary skills to be truly inclusive and representative will be of huge benefit to the sustainability of rugby in Scotland”