SPORTY students at Inverclyde Academy are trying 'scrum'-thing new as part of a national initiative which aims to bring rugby to more schools.

The Greenock secondary has kicked off a three-year programme to teach youngsters the basics of rugby union.

It comes after it was picked as a ‘school of rugby’ by the game's governing body, the SRU.

It is hoped that the project will grow the game at the Greenock high school and offer senior pupils the chance to earn qualifications, life skills and important experiences.

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The participating pupils have all signed contracts agreeing to attend school regularly while taking part in the programme and will be able to attend a variety of rugby-focused sessions as part of their learning.

PE teacher Chloe Havlin, who is helping to run the project, told the Tele it was a great opportunity for the school.

Greenock Telegraph: Inverclyde Academy named 'school of rugby' by Scottish Rugby Union

She said: “IScottish Rugby got in touch to say that they were looking to set up a school of rugby in Inverclyde and we were the lucky ones that were chosen.

“This year we’re focusing on the first and second years and getting them involved, with some of our seniors taking on leadership opportunities.

“In the second year we’ll move on to third and fourth year and hopefully by the third year we’ll have a number of teams up and running within the school.

“We’d like to have some of the seniors coming back and helping the younger ones, maybe through paid coaching or other career aspects.

“It’s about getting involved and playing rugby in first and second year but in senior phase it can lead to some paid coaching work or getting involved in rugby and other sports areas.

“It’s a big opportunity in terms of the different qualifications and hopefully they can then go on to good employment opportunities outside of school.

“It links into the community as well, we’re hoping to run after school clubs as well as a Friday night programme where they’ll come and play rugby, get something to eat for their dinner and then also link in with some of the local groups like the police or the fire service.”

Greenock Wanderers development officer Clare Nicholson, who is also helping with the delivery of the programme, said she had high hopes for the project.

Greenock Telegraph: Inverclyde Academy named 'school of rugby' by Scottish Rugby Union

She added: “One of the aims of the project is to try and get who might have disengaged with school to re-engage using rugby and sport as a method of doing that.

“I would love to see teams at all age groups, from S1 up to S6, and that would be taking the programme through for six years with the S1s starting now.

“Hopefully this can turn the school into a hub for rugby, the other schools we’ve seen that have done it had positive stories of kids who wouldn’t turn up or show an interest in school but once they got involved, they started coming down more.

“It can be a tool to help build further education, not everyone’s academic, but sport can be used as a means to get qualifications, life skills and experiences.”