Ayr Rugby Football Club

Pictured (left to right) – Bruce Harris, Physical Activity & Outdoor Co-ordinator for South Ayrshire Council. Glen Tippet, Ayr RFC C.O.O. George McMillan, DofE Co-ordinator for Ayr RFC. Vincent McWhirter, Manager of DofE Award in South Ayrshire. Billy McHarg, Ayr RFC President.


Ayr Rugby are delighted to announce a unique partnership with Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme provider South Ayrshire Council, to become a centre of delivery in the local community.


The DofE is a globally recognised award which develops young people for life, working across 144 countries. The programme consists of non-competitive voluntary activities for anyone aged between 14-24.


The partnership will see Ayr Rugby become a DofE centre, working with South Ayrshire Council to deliver the scheme to youngsters. Ayr will become the first rugby club in Scotland to offer this.


The centre will be co-ordinated by former club captain and now committee member George McMillan. George has been actively involved with the DofE for more than 24 years. 


Barry Fisher, Director of DofE Scotland, was full of positivity on the partnership: “The DofE Charity is delighted that Ayr Rugby will be partnering with the sector leader provider of Duke of Edinburgh’s awards – South Ayrshire Council.


“The innovative nature of the club and the experience of the council in providing great opportunities to celebrate young people’s achievements is a potent mix.


“I have no doubt that the young people involved will gain valuable life skills through all the DofE programme opportunities provided at Ayr Rugby”. 


Vincent McWhirter, Manager of the DofE award in South Ayrshire, will work directly with Ayr Rugby to deliver the scheme: “Partnerships are increasingly more important. We want to be able to reach out to people who wouldn’t normally partake in the award through the school system.


“The opportunity to have young people volunteering, coaching rugby and at the same time being recognised for the work that they do is immense… For them to have that on their CV when going for jobs, apprenticeships, college or university is great”.


George McMillan sees the benefit of partnering for both parties: “Bringing the DofE programme into a club structure lets you organise the pathway better for a young person to join at bronze level and exit gold. Being a leader at Belmont Academy I see many dropping out after bronze level because the programme interferes too much with playing their preferred sport, in this instance rugby.


“Being passionate about both it makes sense to bring it to the club and be sympathetic around a young person’s playing season and onward to achieving their award.  Although Ayr RFC is the centre of delivery it doesn’t mean you have to play rugby to participate in it. We are a club in the community for the community and therefor will be open to everyone”.


This is another key partnership that will help Ayr Rugby to contribute towards education, health, wellbeing, employment, discipline and inclusiveness across the Ayrshire community.


The news comes after Ayr Rugby announced a strategic partnership with the University of the West of Scotland last month, and ahead of the Super6’s maiden season kicking-off later in the year.