SCOTTISH RUGBY has unveiled the identities of the five Regional Directors and 12 Regional Managers who will take up their roles in the recently revamped Rugby Development department – previously the Domestic Rugby department – during the next two months, with the aim of providing ‘closer, more direct support to rugby clubs at all levels’.
Caledonia North –
Regional Director – Chris Hildrey, who joins from sportscotland where he has most recently been Regional Performance Manager for Highlands and Islands.
Regional Managers – Alan Falconer, who has been Hamilton Rugby Club’s Development Officer from 2011 and worked in rugby development for over a decade; and Sinclair Patience, who is a former Coach Development Officer at Scottish Rugby.
Caledonia Midlands –
Regional Director – Steve Turnbull, who is a former Edinburgh pro player, and has worked as a Regional Club Services Manager for Scottish Rugby since January 2018 in Edinburgh, Mid & West Lothian areas.
Regional Managers – Graham Lindsay, who has worked at Scottish Rugby since 2008, most recently as School & Youth Development Manager covering the Midlands area, and who successfully appealed his redundancy when this restructure was first announced; and Andy Cummins, who was director of rugby for Perthshire RFC for 17 years, is a specialist coach in the Caledonia Regional Academy and a Scottish Rugby Coach Educator.
Glasgow North –
Regional Director –Alex Edmonstone, who is promoted from School & Youth Development Manager for the Glasgow North
Regional Managers – Jen Miller, who was previously Scottish Rugby’s Women & Girls Development Officer for the West joining him as a Regional Manager, and Ailidh Hood, who joins from Scottish Curling where she was National Development Manager, before that she was a netball and basketball international and worked at Scottish Hockey and Scottish Sports Futures.
Glasgow South –
Regional Director – Jen Griffin, who was previously a partnership manager with sportscotland working with Scottish Governing Bodies, and has also worked at South Lanarkshire Leisure and with the Active Schools programme.
Regional Managers – Glen Tippett, who has already worked extensively in the region as School & Youth Development Manager, and who also successfully appealed his redundancy when this restructure was first announced; and Jess Broatch, who was Regional Club Services Manager.
Edinburgh, Lothian & Borders –
Regional Director – David Drummond, who joins from the Scottish FA where he was responsible for the overall planning, management and implementation of regional football strategies, within the South East Region of Scotland, and who has 13 years’ experience in sports development working in both local authority and governing body positions.
Regional Managers – Ally Chalmers and Chris Pacey, who have held School & Youth Development Manager and Regional Club Services Manager roles at Scottish Rugby, respectively; Louise Dalgleish, who is a former Scotland internationalist, coach within the Scottish Futures programme and a Principal Teacher of Guidance and teacher of PE in East Lothian; and Kenny Brown, who returns to Scottish Rugby following a period of time at sportscotland and Premiership Rugby as a Play Development Manager where he was responsible for planning, resourcing, and delivery of the national community development programme.
Alongside the regional delivery teams two other roles in the new rugby development structure have been announced.
Ken Muir has joined the team as Head of Business Operations. He has experience in corporate strategy, business analytics and project management. He previously held positions at WestJet in Canada, American Express and British Airways, where he was Global Payments Manager.
Meanwhile, Vicky Cox is the new Competitions & Compliance Manager, having previously been Senior Operations Manager at Scottish Qualifications Authority, the Public Ticketing Manager for Glasgow 2014 and a Contact Centre Project Manager at Ticketmaster.
All the appointees are to take up their roles in the coming weeks with the final new starter in post by early November.
“I am really excited by the level of interest and quality of candidates we have seen for these roles,” said Sheila Begbie, the Director of Rugby Development for the organisation. “We want to bring a proactive approach to our work with clubs and be right there on the ground to help them with the many challenges they face in order to run successful and sustainable organisations – this will be about what we can achieve together.
“I believe we have secured a very talented group, who bring a passion for the game and diverse experiences to their respective roles and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress we can make together to ensure rugby remains the sport so many people enjoy.”
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “This has been a thorough and comprehensive change to how we deliver our support to clubs across Scotland.
“It was important to recruit people who shared our vision of the role clubs can have in their local communities and have the necessary range of skills to make a real difference to how we work with them and grow all aspects of the game.
“This is significant strategic change in how we work with our most important stakeholders and it underlines our commitment to ensuring rugby at every level, in every region, grows and is truly a game for life.”