It was the most fitting of days to bid farewell to the 2015-16 season. Bathed in warm sunshine, a host of players and families enjoyed a bbq on the terrace, the free run of the 1XV pitch (where the running never seemed to stop!), some cool drinks from the bar and some organised touch rugby on the front pitches. No hamstrings were pulled: What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
It was easy to forget why we were there. It was to present each girl and boy who played in the 2015-16 season with an award. As an inclusive club, every player is important to us. Every player was presented with a medal, stamped with the London Scottish lion logo, to a host of applause from their age group.
In addition to this, it was particularly pleasing to see players in the younger age groups each receive personalized letters reflecting on the things they had done well this season and highlighting one thing to work on for next season, suggested by parents and consistent with the values of rugby (teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship).
We then moved on to the presentation of two trophies per age group, awarded for the Player’s Player (for most outstanding contribution to the team and voted for by their peers) and for the Coaches’ Most Improved Player. All age groups were assembled together in front of the trophy cabinet and were addressed by Rod Lynch, CEO of the club (and importantly a parent of former London Scottish players, now all grown up). H
e reminded us that rugby is really about the quality of friendships that are formed due to the physical nature of the sport and how these friendships stand the test of time. Our “one club philosophy” is set at the top, by Rod, and these values permeate the club. As it pertains to the minis section, we are inclusive: every player gets a game; as much as possible we visit other clubs together: all age groups play the same fixture, home or away, and we go on tour together.
The players came up one by one, to collect their awards, handed out by the coaching and management teams with a firm handshake and photo opportunity with one of the professional players – all done to great applause. The highlight of the award ceremony was one certain George Kimble, who won the U9 Player’s Player award on his birthday. Naturally, the combination of events could not go unnoticed and hundreds of voices possibly gave George the loudest “Happy Birthday” of his relatively young life. The Roll of Honour for this season is listed below.
We also said “goodbye” to the current crop of U12s, some of whom have been with the minis for 7 seasons since U6, as they move on to the junior section of the club. They have won silverware every year in the last three years and ended this season with a string of 9 games undefeated. They have grown up into a group of well-mannered, committed, yet fun kids who will be a credit to junior rugby. They will be missed. However, we look forward to next season and the new influx of U6s. It will be a privilege to watch them grow.
Roll of Honour
U12 Player’s Player: Jacob Eley
U12 Coaches’ Most Improved Player: Max Dickson
U11 Player’s Player: Ben Frampton
U11 Coaches’ Most Improved Player: Alfie Turner
U10 Player’s Player: Carlo Crescini, Ben Littlefair, Alfie Peters & Oscar Sutherland
U10 Coaches’ Most Improved Player: Arthur Dusoir
U9 Player’s Player: George Kimble
U9 Coaches’ Most Improved Player: Harry Shaw
U8 Player’s Player: Ollie Draper
U8 Coaches’ Most Improved Player: Ben Verdult
U7 Player’s Player: Chris Cato
U7 Coaches’ Most Improved Player: Becky Weighell
U6 Player’s Player: Frank McInally
U6 Coaches’ Most Improved Player: Eddie Mackernan