A unique rugby charity in Angus has scooped a prestigious prize at an awards ceremony.
The Forfar-based Strathmore Community Rugby Trust, who launched their autism-friendly rugby sessions last year, were honoured at the Scottish Charity Awards on Friday.
The team picked up the Pioneering Project award for bringing their increasingly popular sessions to primary school pupils in Scotland at last night’s virtual event.
Autism-friendly rugby was established 18 months ago, aimed at primary school children with autism, or undergoing autism diagnosis.
The sessions encourage children and their siblings to have fun while developing confidence and social skills, as well as general physical literacy and sporting skills.
They also provide respite and social contact for parents and carers.
The Trust was also a finalist in the People’s Choice Award, voted on by 27,719 members of the public.
This year’s Scottish Charity Awards shortlist included 45 individuals and organisations from charities and voluntary groups across the country.
Community project coordinator Maggie Lawrie, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to have won. We’ve received so much support for the project – not only within our immediate community but also from partner organisations.
“It’s great that all the hard work which has gone into making autism-friendly rugby a success has now been recognised.
“A massive thank you has to go to the coaches and volunteers who deliver the sessions. They have a very special bond with the players and it’s a joy to see the players, coaches and volunteers develop through rugby – it’s what the Trust is all about.”
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “It is fantastic to see this initiative to make sport more accessible recognised in these awards.
“Sport and physical activity contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of our nation, and projects like this one have an important role to play in making that happen.”
The Trust was founded in 2017 to increase public participation in sport, particularly rugby union and rugby league, in the Forfar, Kirriemuir and Brechin areas.