Building Communities...Not just Homes

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05 Sep 2019

Building Communities...Not Just Homes

With the massive, glorious success of the Paralympics in recent years and inclusivity in the sport being increasingly accepted, not just as a right but a genuine joy, all of us at Robertson Homes are proud to do our bit for the International Festival of Inclusive Rugby.

Like us, you may not have heard of inclusive rugby – and that’s the main reason for this blog; to raise awareness of an event taking place in Spain this September, at which Scotland will field a team. And to ask anyone with an interest in Rugby if you will join us in getting involved? 

We were first made aware of inclusive rugby through two inspiring young men, Josh Nisbet who recently moved into Robertson Homes’ Dovecot Grange development in Haddington and his friend Josh Rogers who also lives in Haddington. Both Joshes have Down’s syndrome and both have been keen followers of rugby since childhood.

Despite their enthusiasm, the lads were never able to play, due to well-meaning but misguided concerns as to their abilities and personal safety. Until that is, they came across The Clan, a unified rugby team under the umbrella of Scottish Charity, Trust Rugby International (TRI).

The Clan’s first team in Scotland was established in Kilmarnock as part of a pilot study looking at ways to use sport to improve the health of individuals with disabilities. Rugby may not be the most obvious sport for people who may be thought to be vulnerable, but the team was such a success that The Clan extended into Edinburgh and then Glasgow, the Borders and Fraserburgh. (There’s even a team in Spain called El Clan).

These regional teams have since come together to form the Scottish Clan, affiliated to and endorsed by, SRU, who has given them the right to wear the thistle and represent Scotland as the Scottish Unified Rugby Team.

Unified Rugby, a form of mixed ability rugby, uses a system of Enablers. These are players who, as well as playing their own game of full-contact rugby, are playing alongside more vulnerable players, supporting them to play with modified rules. The more vulnerable players wear red scrum caps to be easily identified. They have a variety of conditions which may include Down’s syndrome, Autism and Acquired Brain Injury, but what they all have in common is a genuine love of their sport.

This is where we come in. We’re hoping to stage a fundraising event for the Scottish Clan, to help them travel to the International Festival of Inclusive Rugby, which takes place in Spain in September.

The players all pay their own flight costs and accommodation is provided by the hosts; Spanish team, El Clan. A party of around 45 hopes to travel from Scotland, including 30 players (18 of whom have additional needs of some description), with the rest made up of coaches and parents who are self-funding. However, because of the make up the group, we also need to take support staff to assist with every day and personal care. This is expected to cost around £2000. In addition, we have to fund airport transfers which are estimated at £500 each direction.

To help make the trip possible, Robertson Homes has secured signed rugby shirts from each of Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh and Bath and we want your help to raise as much money as possible from these.

  • Do you have ideas for doing your own fundraising to help the Scottish Unified Rugby Team?
  • Would you like to make a bid for any of our donated shirts?
  • Would you be able to add to any event we can hold around Haddington to help both our local lads and the national team?

Karen Rogers of The Scottish Clan said, “Many members of the team are not in paid employment and do not necessarily have the skills or contacts needed to raise the funds required for their trip. Going away from home with pals on a sports trip is an experience that most young men take for granted. We are determined to make this dream possible for our team members also.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for them to join an international community, playing the sport they love, as part of a team that encourages their confidence and independence, and helps develop their social skills.”

Karen Mercer, sales and marketing manager for Robertson Homes in Haddington said, “If you have been inspired, as we have been, please get in touch with ideas for any fundraising events we could support locally. Or, if you fancy owning one of our rugby shirts, please contact us with a bid.

“If like us, you recognise what this trip means to young men who love their sport, we’d love to hear from you.”

Donations to the Scottish Clan can be made through their JustGiving Crowdfunding Page

If you wish to bid for one of the Robertson Homes’ rugby shirts or if you would like to help the fundraising efforts, please contact Karen Mercer

josh rugby square image

Saturday the 21st of September
Time: 1pm-3pm
Location: Dovecot Grange Haddington

Our Charity Event is set to raise funds for The Clan Rugby Club to help make the trip possible, Robertson Homes have secured signed rugby shirts from each of Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh and Bath as well as the Crème-de-la-crème Scotland Team Shirt and World Cup 2019 Ball

We would love your help to raise as much money as possible for The Clan Rugby Club. The silent auction is now open and will close on Sunday 29th of September at midnight for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bath Shirts. The Scotland Team Shirt and World Cup Ball - Auction is open until Wednesday 23rd October.

The winning bidders will be informed following the week after the closing of each bid. Would you like to make a bid for any of  these unique signed rugby shirts, please Bid Now!

The shirts can also be viewed at our Marketing Suite in Haddington, during the weekend of 21st and 22nd of September, 2019

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