Lanark rugby pupils grapple with judo gold winner

Judo gold medallist Louise Renwick performing the "mo-getami" movement with Euan Hannah at Lanark Grammar (Photo Emma Mitchell)
Judo gold medallist Louise Renwick performing the "mo-getami" movement with Euan Hannah at Lanark Grammar (Photo Emma Mitchell)

Rugby proteges loved grappling with Commonwealth Games gold medal winning judo ace Louise Renicks at Lanark Grammar on Tuesday.

The 10 pupils – all members of Lanark Rugby Club’s School of Rugby initiative – learned that judo attributes can help with rugby skills including tackling, competing for the ball on the ground and learning how to safely evade opponents.

“The kids really enjoyed the one-hour session with Louise,” said Lanark Rugby Club president Iain Hughes.

“It was an interactive session, which was far more enjoyable for the kids than death by PowerPoint would have been!

“Louise taught them that there are transferable skills between rugby and judo.

“She was throwing the kids about and they were throwing her about.

“I think learning from a Commonwealth champion will be hugely inspirational for the children.

“The way Louise interacted with them was tremendous.

“I wish I could have been involved in something like that when I was a kid.”

Louise, a degree qualified judo coach, won gold for Scotland in the women’s 52kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Iain (37) said he was so impressed with her performance that he hoped she would also coach the Lanark Rugby Club 1st XV.

The School of Rugby, which was launched in August, is attended by S1 Lanark Grammar pupils who are coached at the school on Tuesday mornings and at the club on Friday afternoons.

The three-year programme, for which coaching is done by Shabaz Khan, will hopefully culminate in Lanark Rugby Club having an under-15 side.

At the moment, the club’s only youth outfit are Lanark Eagles. That is currently utilised by P1 to P4 pupils, with this expanding to P1 to P7 at the end of this month.

“The long term ambition is for us to have 10 different teams within the next three years,” Iain said.

“That would be enormous for the rugby club.

“Having a lot of people using the facilities at Lanark Racecourse, learning our values and our ethos would be great for the rugby club and for the town in general.

“We could maybe expand by building a bigger clubhouse with better facilities.”