In the town of Fraserburgh, where the sporting landscape has largely been dominated by football in the past, a rugby club has whetted the local appetite for more choice of sporting activity in the North East fishing town. Launched in 2014 – which a successful women’s team following in 2018 – Fraserburgh Rugby Club has encouraged inclusion and providing opportunities for everyone to get involved with the sport.
Dana Macdonald, President at Fraserburgh RFC, firmly believes that their attitude towards allowing everyone and anyone to participate has been one of the bedrocks of the club’s success so far.
“In the local area it feels to me like it has always been football centric. So to have something like the rugby club, which lets people come along and just get involved no matter their experience is really nice. All abilities are welcome, and as long as everyone are sticking in and having fun– that’s what matters the most to us.”
Creating the family feeling
One thing that becomes clear from Dana is that Fraserburgh are a family friendly club, with multiple generations from the same family becoming involved in the club at all stages in life. Including Dana’s own family:
“My son plays in the Mini-Micros. Which is our programme that starts in primary one. There’s quite a lot of us that attend club alongside our kids, which imbeds the family feel. When we have a club day it can become like a big family celebration!
“One of the best things of having the whole family involved is that, it is something that we can all do together and which is the best feeling playing alongside your family member”
In a club in which the oldest member is 56 years year old and the youngest is 5 – there is plenty of friendly competition between the family members. In the men’s team, we have a father/son's combination. Which, understandably, can get quite competitive!
For the club, this family feel helps keep the club welcoming to all newcomers and something that we pride ourselves on, as this is something that cannot be coached this is something that is imbedded in the attitudes of all the players within the club, and this attitude is something that clubs around have commented on.
Dana added: “The bond between the players is amazing, and the banter between the players is brilliant . It is really important to us that we have support on and off field for our players wellbeing. That is something we try to promote. Our Coaches are always on hand for all players as are the club as a whole.”
Player retention is a battle that all clubs must face, with players often moving out of the area or into a period of their life that constrains time available for regular participation. Fraserburgh is no different, and also faces these concerns;
“Player retention is something all clubs face. It’s just a matter of life as part of a club. I think this is especially evident in women’s teams where players can have kids and step away for a while. At Fraserburgh we try to get out in the community as much as possible to ensure our player recruitment in this area is as strong as possible.”
“So far, we’ve been successful in bringing in young girls especially in the Mini Micro section. We currently have around a pool of 18 female players on the books at the minute. It’s really encouraging to see it grow.”
Taking your time
However, there are other areas where the club is proud to be making strides in their inclusivity.
“We have players of all abilities who train with us, offering a sport that has an inclusion for everyone. We have had parents comment on how well we at Fraserburgh RFC include their children in the training sessions, and how assured they are by the attitudes of all who are involved.”
“Whether you’ve been here for one week or three years, we’re going to look after you. That’s something that I feel is special about the club. If someone misses training for a few weeks, we notice, we check in and make sure that all is well”
“Our club is like a jigsaw. We can’t have one bit without the other before the picture of the club is complete. Everyone is important and they all make up Fraserburgh and the team that we are.”
Find Out More
- About Rugby on Sport First
- About Faserburgh Rugby Club
- About the Focus On series on Sport First