SUCCESS on and off the field at Haddington RFC has been marked with an award from Scottish Rugby.

This season marks 50 years of mini rugby and 110 years of adult rugby at the county club, who have been named community club of the season in the region by the sport’s governing body.

From inclusive rugby opportunities to local gardening projects and fundraising, the club have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the sport and local community over the past year.

Keith Wallace, president of the Neilson Park club, was delighted with the award.

He said: “We like to think that after 111 years, Haddington RFC remain at the heart of the local community.

“This award gives great recognition for all the hard work of our volunteers and indeed our partners, without such success would not be possible.

“We are therefore delighted.”

The East Lothian club have been especially focused on supporting young people into rugby, and now have more than 150 players playing regularly in their minis section at the club.

East Lothian Courier: Haddington RFC's charity work has not gone unnoticed by Scottish RugbyHaddington RFC's charity work has not gone unnoticed by Scottish Rugby

And it’s not just rugby the minis have been getting involved in.

In partnership with East Lothian Council, the youngsters helped plant more than 8,500 bulbs around the club’s Neilson Park home as part of the Blooming Haddington project.

The bulbs will bring colour to the park and be an annual celebration of the club’s history in the community.

Haddington RFC have also been working with local schools including Knox Academy to deliver a School of Rugby programme which now has in excess of 100 young people taking part, and the club frequently receive praise from the schools they work with regarding the wider benefits rugby’s values bring to the pupils.

The club has developed a strong connection with Knox Academy Meadowpark, a specialist provider for pupils with additional needs, and is now working to support funding of specialist playground equipment for the pupils.

Haddington have also helped to raise over £14,000 through a number of challenges and virtual events for a range of charitable causes including My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the Wooden Spoon charity.

East Lothian Courier: Haddington RFC plays a key role at the heart of the communityHaddington RFC plays a key role at the heart of the community

A number of awards for the East Region were made on Saturday, with each winner receiving a personalised trophy and prize at the Scotland Women TikTok Six Nations fixture against England.

Ian Barr, Scottish Rugby president, said: “As we approach the end of the domestic season, it is vitally important to recognise and share our gratitude to the countless volunteers within our sport who make what we do not only possible, but special, fun and enjoyable, particularly following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am so pleased that we have been able to recognise that impact and say thank you to everyone for their efforts in helping the game bounce back with this year’s community recognition awards.”