ROYAL Bank RugbyForce has opened applications for its 2023 programme, inviting rugby clubs from across Scotland to apply for funding to help them tackle climate change.

Delivered in partnership with Scottish Rugby, 10 winning clubs will receive a £3,000 ‘Regeneration’ grant which can be used to kickstart their climate action.

Winning applications could include efforts to tackle waste and carbon emissions as well as community action to improve the local environment such as planting new trees, wildlife conservation or beach clean ups.

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In addition to the £30,000 prize fund for the top 10 applications, Royal Bank will also award a further £25,000 shared between up to 100 runner-up clubs in recognition of the importance of taking climate action.

The £55,000 of funding being made available to clubs is the largest amount since the programme began in 2009.

In supplement of the funding, every rugby club in Scotland – which is in excess of 260 clubs - will receive access to a free digital toolkit, packed with information and top tips from Royal Bank climate experts on how to ensure their clubs are making a meaningful difference to the planet.

Following on from the success of last year’s nationwide programme, Royal Bank and Scottish Rugby will once again roll out the Young Ambassador programme.

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A new squad of 15 Young Ambassadors, aged 18–35-years-old, will be elected to represent their club and supported with £500 to deliver a project of their choosing which aims to make positive environmental change.

The new squad will be selected from all five Scottish Rugby regions and will be chosen based on meeting criteria on how they would utilise the grant, as well as the community work they are currently delivering through their local club.

All successful clubs and Young Ambassador applicants will be announced in July.

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Royal Bank RugbyForce, now in its fifteenth year of delivery, continues to support grassroots rugby clubs up and down the country to achieve their goals and build greener futures. Since its launch, more than half a million pounds has been distributed directly benefiting 75 percent of rugby clubs in Scotland.

Welcoming the latest RugbyForce campaign, Gav Scott, Director of Rugby Development said: “Through Royal Bank RugbyForce, clubs across the country have the opportunity to make real positive change not only to their club and local environment, but to the world, by engaging with climate action.

“Scottish Rugby is committed to protecting and nurturing our environment through its environmental strategy, and its important we continue to support and encourage our clubs to be conscious of climate action too. RugbyForce is another way in which we can highlight its importance.

“I’d like to once again share thanks on behalf of Scottish Rugby to Royal Bank for their continued support of the domestic game. This season’s iteration will no doubt be just as exciting as the previous 15.”

Peeblesshire News: Royal Bank RugbyForce has opened applications for its 2023 programme

Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scotland Board, said: “Tackling climate change is one of the defining challenges of our lifetime. “Building a greener future takes teamwork, dedication and leadership and we are committed to playing our part through Royal Bank RugbyForce.

“Our new programme is designed to inspire and support grassroots rugby clubs across the country to take action to improve their environment locally while simultaneously supporting their finances at a time where we know budgets are stretched. Sport has always had the power to drive societal change and together we can contribute to tackling the climate challenge head on. We wish all applicants the best of luck.”

Applications for funding and Young Ambassador nominations are open now and can be made via the Royal Bank RugbyForce website