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Ross Sutherland Rugby Club receives further £10,000 sponsorship support from Port of Cromarty Firth


By Philip Murray

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An artist's impression of the club house.
An artist's impression of the club house.

A RUGBY club is aiming to increase school age and community participation in the sport after it received another five-figure sponsorship windfall from the Port of Cromarty Firth.

The Invergordon-based Ross Sutherland Rugby Club also aims to use the £10,000 fund to support its development and continued expansion within the region.

The award, which is part of the Port’s Community Sponsorship Programme, will see the introduction of a new Community Manager post to oversee community and rugby development activities, a new local schools coach, and a further part-time community coach.

The funds will also help boost school and after-school rugby sessions – including a focus on girls rugby, forging a stronger working partnership with local schools, Highlife Highland and Police Scotland, and enhancing wellbeing and mental health support.

John Scott, the club's president, said: “The continued backing and support of the Port of Cromarty Firth provides a vital lifeline to the club and the sport of rugby throughout the area.

"We pride ourselves on the work we are able to carry out with the youngsters across the region, and as the country begins to emerge from the pandemic, it is important that we invest in sport in order to provide a crucial avenue to aid both health and mental wellbeing.”

The port has supported the club for six years, providing £60,000 worth of funding during that time. This has already helped the club employ of two local coaches, a full-time rugby development officer and develop a brand new clubhouse.

The club – which has the largest catchment of any sports club in the UK – has also used the port’s backing to fund its expansion within the community, which sees it now work with more than 2500 primary school pupils, and 4000 secondary school pupils.

The port has long supported the rugby club.
The port has long supported the rugby club.

Bob Buskie, chief executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “Our partnership with Ross Sutherland Rugby Club has been a great source of pride for everyone at the Port of Cromarty Firth throughout the past six years as we have watched the club flourish.

“The club is a credit to the Highlands as it provides so many kids and adults with the opportunity to stay fit and healthy, and that will be vital as sport hopefully starts to return to a sense of normality this year. We are delighted to work with the club once again and are extremely excited to see what the future holds.”

The port said that its Community Sponsorship Programme aspires to improve, safeguard and develop Cromarty Firth communities, for the benefit of the local people. One per cent of the port’s surplus is channelled into the programme.

The programme supports a variety of community projects and clubs around the Cromarty Firth, having widened the eligibility criteria in order to provide funding for Covid-19 community support initiatives.

Community projects, schools or local charities based in one of the nine communities that border the Cromarty Firth are welcome to apply for support. They can do so by submitting an application form stating the project’s objectives, aspirations and the benefits to the community, along with a letter/email of support from their local community council.

Application forms are available on the Port of Cromarty Firth website or from s.macdonaldbutler@cfpa.co.uk.

Related news: Port of Cromarty Firth praises community spirit in face of Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, after business awarded more than £20,000 to various causes and lifeline services


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