An Angus sports charity has followed up a Royal seal of approval by becoming the area’s only finalist in a major national awards scheme.
Strathmore Community Rugby Trust has been announced as a contender in two categories of the Scottish Charity Awards (SCA), run annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to celebrate the best of the nation’s voluntary sector.
It follows the Earl of Forfar agreeing to become the trust’s Royal patron after a historic visit to its base at Strathmore Rugby Club last year when he made his inaugural visit to the town after being granted the historic title.
The trust has been shortlisted in the SCA pioneering project category for bringing autism-friendly rugby for primary pupils to Scotland last year.
That will be decided by a judging panel and announced on September 25 in a virtual awards ceremony.
It is also a contender in the People’s Choice award, voted for by the public, with the trust encouraging supporters to ‘pass it on’ by encouraging five pals to follow their nomination before the September 4 voting deadline.
This year’s awards shortlist includes 45 individuals and organisations from charities and voluntary groups across the country.
Trust chairman Stuart Gray said: “We’re naturally delighted to have the work and support of our volunteers, staff, sponsors and project participants recognised with these award finals places.
“Here’s hoping the people of Angus can pass on the voting message so well they help us to our first national award.
The Trust was founded in 2017 to increase public participation in sport, particularly rugby union and league, in the Forfar, Kirriemuir and Brechin areas to benefit community health and wellbeing and develop young people through the positive ethos and values of rugby.
Its autism-friendly rugby sessions are aimed at developing confidence and social skills among young participants as well as sporting ability. They also provide respite and social contact for parents and carers.
SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie said: “Much of the work celebrated this year predates the pandemic.
“Scotland’s voluntary sector has never been more needed and will be essential to Scotland’s recovery.
“This year’s shortlist of 45 finalists showcases just how diverse our voluntary sector is, and highlights the fantastic work going on across the country.”