Broadwood Rugby Academy launched

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In years to come rugby fans will be able to say the great Scottish victories of tomorrow were won on the playing fields of Broadwood.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson joined North Lanarkshire Leisure chief Blane Dodds at the official launch of the new BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy at the iconic Cumbernauld site.

He described the development as “a fantastic endorsement of North Lanarkshire Leisure (NLL) Broadwood and the rugby potential of this area.”

Work on the project will be completed in late summer, and an initial £500,000 from NLL and North Lanarkshire Council will be followed by “significant” year on year investment from the Scottish Rugby Union.

Broadwood will be a centre of excellence for the next generation of elite west of Scotland male and female Scottish rugby talent.

And in a separate stream of activity it will also serve as a water-sports hub for Broadwood Loch.

The Academy is billed as a state of the art facility which includes the latest in fitness, medical and training facilities.

Scottish Rugby says it wants to ensure young players with real potential are given the best possible opportunities to develop their skills at high-performance centres close to home.

Broadwood is already familiar to Scottish rugby fans as the venue for last year’s national BT Cup Finals Day, age group and women’s international fixtures.

Now the new academy is said to cement an already strong relationship between ScottishRugby and NL Leisure, with both organisations committed to promoting the health and social benefits of taking part in physical activity.

The governing body will also use the new academy as a base from which to reach out to schools and the community to promote participation in rugby and spot new talent.

Mark Dodson said: “Scottish Rugby and NL Leisure have developed a positive partnership in recent years and we are very pleased Broadwood Stadium can continue that good work as the home for the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Glasgow and the West.

“We are committed to building a system that enables us to identify and support young players, both boys and girls, as they develop their full sporting and personal potential.”

Blane Dodds said: “This is great news for North Lanarkshire and for Rugby in the west of Scotland; our relationship with Scottish Rugby is really important to us and it’s already been our privilege over the past several years to welcome Scotland’s sevens, age group, ladies and senior players to many of our venues for training and competitive matches.

“I’m proud the next generation of Scottish rugby players will call Broadwood their home and I’m sure our work with Scottish Rugby will inspire people of all ages to take up rugby and other sports.”

NLL chairman Jim Logue said: “Bringing the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, Glasgow and The West, to Broadwood is a fantastic boost for rugby in the area and I’d like to say that it does huge credit to North Lanarkshire’s many clubs and players.

“We share many values with our friends in Scotish Rugby – most particularly our mutual determination to promote the benefits of taking part in sport.”