A man has launched a rugby academy to help reconnect young people through sport this summer.
Craig McLeod set up Apex Rugby Academy to give youngsters new opportunities.
He said: “The reason I started the academy is that rugby has always been a huge part of my life.
“It has given me friends, memories and opportunities that will last a lifetime.
“I know that unless a player is selected to represent their regional team or Scotland, there are few opportunities where players can take their performance to the next level.
“I want to use rugby as a vehicle to create good people.”
Young people who were used to participating in group activities and team sport may have experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation due to coronavirus restrictions.
To combat this and to offer players, coaches and clubs the opportunity to take their performance to the next level, Craig decided to set up Apex Rugby Academy in February.
Craig said: “There hasn’t been a lot of rugby over the last 12 months due to Covid-19.
“Rugby is a sport which encourages teamwork, socialising with friends and also being physically active.
“I want to use rugby as a vehicle where players can improve their sports skills but also learn life skills through rugby.”
At the moment, Craig and his team of qualified rugby coaches, PE teachers, strength and conditioning coaches and performance analysts offer small group private coaching sessions.
This summer, Apex Rugby Academy will also deliver fun and engaging rugby camps during the school holidays, performance analysis programmes for teams as well as private coaching sessions for players and small groups.
The academy received support from former Scotland international rugby union player Ruaridh Jackson, who’s from Aberdeen and will be attending this year’s summer camp held in Banchory from July 26 to July 30.
Craig said: “The summer academy is aimed at boys and girls of all abilities between the ages 8-15.
“We have 80 signed up so far – we’ve already broken our target.
“We’re getting more coaches, so hopefully we’ll have 150 children signed up.”