Highland Under 18's Make Their Mark

So, on Friday we hurtled into the weekend after a pretty dreary week with another wonderful Six Nations festival of rugby to soak ourselves in.  How far away does Friday already seem. The All Blacks are probably sitting round the team briefing table arguing about what size tin of brasso they'll need for the next four years. 

Still, I think back to my first inglorious experience of the game when at school. Some lads, well men really, came down from Highland, the local club,  to give us a taster session. Well, I think we know where this is going. Right on cue your young and enthusiastic correspondent, (then not now), slammed cheek on cheek, (my cheek on his backside), with my arms wrapped firmly round the top of his legs. Unfortunately for me, the brute with legs like ancient Caledonian Firs seemed not to notice. As my arms slipped slowly down his legs to bring him down, (textbook), my cheek scraped over his bulbous thighs which had hair like wire wool. It felt like an out of control piston was gouging my skin with a wire brush. In seconds I was left lying in the mud leaving the next boy to his inevitable doom. Wouldn't happen now of course. Mostly because they don't train men with boys these days and I'm far to smart to get caught out again. I've never though, quite forgotten those lads from Highland.

So, having faced the ghosts of the past it was with some pleasure that I learned last week that the under 18's from Highland were bound for Edinburgh and the under 18 Scottish Cup Final in a match against Jedburgh Thistle. The under 18's, coached by among others, my good friend John Carson, did something special for themselves, the Club and for Highland rugby in reaching the final.

The final yesterday was indeed a historic day for the club. The lads got there by finishing first in their league and then seeing off West of Scotland in the quarters and Hawick in the semi. These are clubs at the beating heart and soul of Scottish rugby  so Highland walking onto the turf at Murrayfield is no mean feat. 

As with many Highland tales the ending was, shall we say unlucky but looking at the weekends international results they are in good company. A hard fought match ended with Jed in the ascendant with a 15-10 scoreline. The coaches, team and parents though should and will be proud. It will be long remembered as these things always are....."do you remember the time when we were at Murrayfield and Jed's hooker ran.........." The important thing of course is that winning becomes a habit. If you can get to one cup final ............

Rugby is the greatest and best of all community sports and is open to all. Well done; the town should be proud.

Hull City Council; Thinking & Doing

Not sure about the graphic though.....

Hull City Council have announced a scheme to create their own crypto currency with which citizens may be paid for doing jobs that benefit the community and which may then be used to pay for local services such as public transport, food banks or even council tax. At last, a council that is thinking and doing.

Notwithstanding it may be an April Foll story, (although the story was circulating yesterday), this is a great piece of mutually supporting creative planning. Designed to tackle local poverty, without knowing it they've just drawn the blueprint for what a Big Society really is. They probably also don't realise that I proposed a similar Community Credit scheme three years ago in a piece called, oddly enough, "Creating the Big Society," But hey, this isn't about trying to catch some airtime for a good idea that someone's else has also come up with! The important thing is that they're doing something about it.

The elegant enhancement in my scheme though is that citizens could also be fined credits / Hull Coins / widgets for minor offences and be forced to earn them through community work, or use those already earned, to pay the fines off. 

Anyway, I take my hat off to Hull, salute their innovation and applaud the can-do and will-do attitude. As an aside, what a great thing to do to bring a community together some 100 years after the same community stepped forward to help their countrymen and raised four Pals Battalions, the 10th Easy Yorks (Hull Commercials), 11th East Yorks (Hull Tradesmen), the 12th East Yorks (the Hull Sportsmen) and the 13th East Yorks, (T'Others) .......... only in Yorkshire.

Hull Volunteers