LOOKING through the archives of Cumbernauld Rugby Club, you'll find many examples of rugby progressing across the community.
From the first General Meeting at the Cottage Theatre on 16 June 1970, through to laying the foundations of the Clubhouse at Auchenkilns in 1979, to its' official opening 26th Match 1980, and on to more recent events such as the 1st xv being promoted to the National Leagues last season.
Results on the park are maybe what people look out for, but these would not be possible without the efforts of a great number of people behind the scenes. From administrators, to sponsors, to coaches and team managers - a great number of dedicated people have put in a great deal of effort over the Clubs 40 year history to give us what we have today.
Those players who gathered in June 1970 must be congratulated for their vision and ambition, and for creating, not only a team, but also a Club for the New Town of Cumbernauld. The first General Meeting approved the Constitution and elected their first Committee: John Coletta, Ricky Marshall, John McCluskie, Paul Macready (with John Coletta as President and 1st xv captain). The Meeting also agreed the Club would play in black jerseys and socks, with blue or black shorts.
In their first season, Cumbernauld played their games at Our Ladies & Ravenswood playing fields, with the accounts showing that a match ball for these occasions cost the princely sum of 1.50. That first season was very successful - the 1st xv playing 24 matches, winning 17 of them, and scoring 341 points whilst conceding only 97.
With 40 years of games under their belts, there are now many hundreds of players who have graced a rugby pitch in Cumbernaulds colours.
History shows that the number of teams have fluctuated, but with three senior teams, three youth teams and three mini teams, the Club today is giving many more people the opportunity to take to the rugby field.
To help give these opportunities to young and old alike, the administrators and coaches (especially in the youth and mini sections) must receive a special mention, as must also the Clubs main sponsors (Cowie Engineering and Reigart Demolition) without who's help the Club would not be able to fund their joint SVQ Community Coach programme with North Lanarkshire Council.
With nearly 6000 kids in the seven high schools covering Cumbernauld & Kilsyth, the local Development Officers and SVQ Community Coaches are working hard with teachers and Active Schools Co-ordinators to get children interested in taking part in not just rugby, but a wide range of sports.
In this part of the country, football tends to be the first choice sport for the majority, but with 40 years having passed since that first meeting in the Cottage Theatre, and the many steps that have been taken since – congratulations must be given to all those who have helped carve out a niche for a minority sport that poses significantly different challenges from the round ball, one that requires determination and courage, and one that offers a great deal of camaraderie. Again, congratulations to a successful 40 years, and best wishes to those taking up the challenge of the next 40 years.