Sport has ground to a halt in recent weeks with the impact of the COVID-19 impact becoming ever more pervasive.
But while they had to learn of their success via Facebook, Mackie Academy FP’s players, coaches and officials are celebrating after being crowned the Tennent’s community club of the season in Caledonia North at the Scottish Rugby Development Awards.
The Stonehaven organisation has worked hard to accommodate different groups in its community and doesn’t just offer rugby to everybody from P1 to adult males, but has also launched a P6-S4 initiative for girls in addition to a women’s “Rugbyfit” programme, designed both for people to play the game and enjoy healthy exercise.
Scottish Rugby highlighted the many different ways in which Mackie Academy has taken strides to spread the gospel – and make conversions in every area.
The governing body said: “They have a good relationship with primary and secondary schools through the region and have one of the largest youth/minis section going.
“They also run a academy programme, offering development sessions for S1 to under-18 players and, through these age grades, players get strength and conditioning work, skills development, yoga, mindfulness, health and wellbeing and nutrition talks.
”As a whole, the club works tirelessly to offer so much to their community and players.”
There was also recognition for Deeside RFC’s Mike Fraser, who won the Mitsubishi Motors volunteer of the season accolade in Caledonia North.
He has been involved in nurturing a wide range of initiatives and works in tandem with the local Active Schools coordinator to create a club outreach programme for rugby training in primary schools and combine the under-18s at Banchory and Aboyne Academies to enter the Schools Cup.
Caledonia North regional director Chris Hildrey said: “Working with all the volunteers in clubs has been a privilege and we are constantly humbled by the incredible commitment and quality that they apply to keep the game going.
”The winners completely typify this and we really can’t offer enough thanks to them for all the time and effort they put in.”