SCRUM Web Editor Gary Heatly catches up with someone dedicated to growing the game:

Shania Irvine believes rugby for young females can continue to flourish in Scotland after she became the first ever Girls Rugby Development Officer at Carrick.

Carrick have become the first school based rugby set-up in Scotland to make such an appointment and, they believe, it shows they are playing a leading role in developing the game for both boys and girls.

This position has been created with the addition of two new principal partners the Ayr Rugby Trust and Carrick Futures. Both organisations were impressed by the work undertaken by the development team at Carrick and were very keen to support developing things further.

Director of Youth Rugby Gordon Brown said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to keep Shania as part of our team. She has developed girls rugby hugely over the past two seasons as our Modern Apprentice and she deserves the opportunity to build on these foundations.

“The girls rugby at both Carrick and Girvan Academy has grown in terms of numbers and performance over the past season with the girls under-15 side reaching the Scottish Cup Final at Scotstoun being an obvious highlight.

“Shania will work to achieving her performance targets which are integrated into our development plan for 2017/18.

“This position could not have been created without the support of Glen Tippett (Scottish Rugby), Neil Howie (Ayr Rugby Trust) and Carrick Futures.

“Kyle Johnson our admin manager played a huge part in securing most of this funding and it once again shows the value of having such a professional set up behind the scenes.

“Carrick Rugby continues to drive youth development which has laid strong foundations for the club which allows us to have such a big impact on the wider community.”

Shania, 17, said: “My role within Carrick rugby is to build and develop girls rugby and try to get maximum participation from girls in the local area interested in trying rugby.

“My hopes for girls rugby is for it to grow and flourish into a successful girls program where there are a lot of girls involved in trying out rugby and playing regularly.

“I played rugby from the age of nine at primary and played up until 2016 before stopping because of a small injury. I hope to return within the next season, I love this sport because it teaches many young people respect and also gives you the chance to meet many new people with similar interests.

“At Carrick there is a great community feel, there are a lot of people from all around the local area participating and volunteering their help especially on Saturdays where often there are people around helping out in any way we need.

“I look forward to starting my new position at Carrick in August and would like to thank Michael Kirk, Gordon Brown and all of Carrick Rugby for their continuous support over the last two years.”

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