The SOHK Huddle: Scotland Schools At the start of the Fife Schools Programme in August, many of our young people were taking part in a variety of sports outside of school, from football to kickboxing. Only five played rugby outside school (four boys and one girl) and when we first met them, very few were interested in actually taking this up as a sport. There was also quite a lot of fear around the contact element, especially within the girls' groups. However, fast forward six months and we are proud to report that 24 of our young people are now playing club rugby. This means in the last 6 months, 19 young people have joined a local club; eleven boys and eight girls! Over the last seven months, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming international players in to inspire the young people. Two of the YP’s favourite visitors were Scotland Women’s Rugby Internationals Lisa Martin and Helen Nelson. These inspirational women have helped encourage the girls to view rugby in a different light, boosting their confidence with the sport, breaking down barriers around the contact/physicality aspects and showing that women can be as successful in rugby as their male counterparts. These experiences, alongside their weekly coaching, have led to a number of the young women asking about girl’s rugby. This inspired Liana and I to start a local girls’ team to give the girls the opportunity to play for a club outside school. I am Head Coach at Glenrothes Rugby Club and proposed we could run the new club from there. Fortunately, Glenrothes was delighted to support these plans and we started running training from Glenrothes in early February. Currently, around 15 S1-3 girls are coming along, with some P7’s ready to join from the minis section. We are all aware of the power of rugby in teaching powerful life lessons, like respect, discipline, and resilience. We also know it provides an outlet for young people who previously used physicality in the wrong way. It also lets young people be part of a wider community, and we are delighted that young people now have this through Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy or Glenrothes rugby clubs. We are really proud of all our pupils, but we wanted to highlight the achievement of the 11 boys and eight girls who are now playing at club level. With International Women’s Day just having passed, we thought it was especially important to shine the spotlight on our inspirational new girls’ team and show that SoHK Scotland Schools are working hard to empower young women not only Monday to Friday, but even on a Sunday at Glenrothes Rugby Club! Real Stories, Real Results Jane Jane was referred to the SOHK programme due to the school encountering significant issues about her behaviour. Jane was described by the school as one of the pupils causing the most concern: she was repeatedly skipping classes, going missing from school, running away from home, engaging in illegal behaviour and repeatedly having contact with the police. We recognise at SOHK that all behaviour can be understood through open communication. Jane has been dedicated a lot of 1:1 time on the SOHK programme, with discussion around what’s going on for her and some of the risks associated with running away/going missing etc. Over time, a strong bond has developed between her and her SOHK worker, leading to Jane to disclosing some issues in her home life that were then subject to child protection procedures. The school had been unaware of this and were grateful for the information. Since then, Jane says the school have been providing a lot of support; she is now subject to a special plan and things are better at school. Further to this, Jane recently disclosed for the first time to anyone about self-harm issues and suicidal thoughts. Again this was passed to the school with her full consent, and now further support is being put in place for her by all services involved in her care. It’s unlikely that Jane would have disclosed this directly to the school, but felt comfortable disclosing indirectly through her SOHK worker. This has allowed additional support and services to be put in place for her and we look forward to seeing continued positive change in her behaviour moving forward.