The training efforts of a pair of brothers from Loch Lomond RFC have attracted thousands of online hits over the past week, and drawn praise from Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend.
Callum Crumley, 13, and his 11-year-old brother Sam put together a video filmed in their back garden encouraging youngsters at the club’s junior section to attempt their passing challenge.
Sam, who plays for the club’s P7 side, said: “We really wanted to keep people playing and practicing even though they couldn’t come to training.
“I felt really, really happy that such important rugby people had commented on us and seen what we were doing.”
His older brother, a member of the U14 team, added: “The reaction has been really surprising. I thought just a few people from the club might see it but for it to get 14,000 views on Twitter is really overwhelming.
“It was really cool that Gregor Townsend liked and commented on it – to have the Scotland Head Coach see it and respond is really awesome.”
The video is the first in a series planned by the boys, who are aiming to do one each week during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Their dad Euan explained: “We were talking as a family about how to do something to try and keep the club’s players in touch and connected with each other while they couldn’t train or play so we set our minds to coming up with something that everyone could take part in and that would help the players keep their skill levels up.
“The idea of weekly rugby challenges came up and the boys took it on from there. They both absolutely love their rugby and are very much missing being able to train and play but the idea was to focus on what they could still do rather than what they couldn’t.
“Our boys love their sport – and rugby in particular – so myself and my wife Fran have been really proud to see them take this on and to try and keep connected with the game and encourage others.
“The response has been great, with other players from the club posting their efforts for the first week of the challenge, while a couple of other clubs have been in touch to say they are encouraging their players to get involved. Callum’s PE teacher has shared the challenge with the rest of his school, too.
The boys also gave their take on ‘lockdown’ with schools closed, and all rugby suspended for the foreseeable future.
Sam said: “I’m finding lockdown quite mixed because it’s a new experience for everyone and we’re all getting used to it. It’s really important to keep yourself fit and healthy during this time and I’m really keen to keep practicing my rugby skills so that I’m ready for when everything gets back to normal.”
Callum said: “Lockdown is a challenge but I think me and my family are adapting to this new way of life very well. Rugby will play a massive part in the next weeks because we will keep the challenges going and putting them out there.
“It’s important to try and help people keep their skill levels high for when everything kick-starts again.”
Image caption: Loch Lomond Juniors’ brothers Sam and Callum Crumley.