YESTERDAY saw the launch of the SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship, which will see 25 schools from across the west, central and southern Scotland will take part in the tournament.

More than 1,000 girls and boys will compete at Scotstoun, the home of Glasgow Warriors, during seven weeks of action, with each school required to enter S1 and S2 level boys teams as well as an under-15s girls’ team.

The Championships begin in March and runs until May but representatives from the schools were present at Scotstoun stadium yesterday for the launch, where the selected kids got the opportunity to watch their heroes from Glasgow Warriors train, as well as play on Warriors’ pitch.

Head of Rugby at Jordanhill High School, Euan Clark is in no doubt as to the benefits of this tournament, which is now in its third year. “This tournament has helped us boost the number of pupils playing rugby significantly,” he said.

“And for the kids to get to even just come to Scotstoun never mind play on the main pitch is massive for them. Getting the chance to watch the Warriors train is a big deal too - it hopefully shows them that there is a path to that stage for them.”

13 year-old Cameron Hill of Jordanhill High admitted he was over the moon to have had the opportunity to have spent a day at the home of Glasgow Warriors, as well as meet some of the players. “It’s been really cool to be here,” he said. “I met Niko Matawalu which was great - he was massive.

“We watched the Warriors train and so I’ve picked up some tips.”

Scottish Rugby Business Development Manager, Al Kellock said of the tournament: “Our partnership with SP Energy Networks allows us to be more engaged than we ever have been with community rugby.

“The more kids we have playing the game in this country the better, producing active kids with healthy bodies and healthy minds. Our home games at Scotstoun now see up to 150 kids from clubs and schools taking part in our community programme led by our brilliant community team.

“Our players are out and about in schools and clubs regularly taking coaching sessions and delivering key messages to help promote rugby and healthy living.

“This Championship gives over 1,000 kids the opportunity to play at the home of Glasgow Warriors and many of these kids are picking a ball up for the first time and will hopefully have a life-long involvement in the game.”

While SP Energy Networks Chief Executive, Frank Mitchell, said of the company's involvement: “We are very proud of our partnership with Glasgow Warriors as it allows us to continue our focus on community engagement.

“We are delighted to support the launch of the SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship and look forward to watching the games and getting involved in the tournament activities.

“Good luck to all of the schools involved.”