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Bonny times for blossoming Rose

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• Grassroots speaks to Bonnyrigg Rose Girls and Boys about developments at the club.
• Both branches of the club have been awarded the Scottish FA Legacy award.
• Interviewees: Robin Laing, Jim Wilson
At Bonnyrigg Rose Girls FC (pictured right - pic: Susie Raeburn), one of the club’s main aims is to try and introduce more girls to football. With a group of youngsters that have grown from 12 players to 75 players in the last four years, the club is so far excelling.
“With the growth we have had it is clear to see the progress we have made, the recent Women’s World Cup has probably created more interest too,” coach Robin Laing said. 
Bonnyrigg Rose have always tried to do the best for the community and have recently gained their Scottish FA Legacy Award as a result of all the hard work they have done in the community, including continuing to provide a “safe environment for our girls to train and play football”. 
Laing said that he has high hopes for next season and wants to “keep moving our club forward and developing the good reputation we have in our region”.
As for the boys, Bonnyrigg Rose FC has recently reached a significant milestone in the club’s history after receiving the Scottish FA Legacy Award. Bonnyrigg Rose FC compete in the South East Region and as a Community Football (Sports) Club they are always looking to give back to their community, which has played a big role in earning the award.
One of Bonnyrigg’s coaches, Jim Wilson, spoke about what it means to win such a prestigious award: “It was of course important to gain the Legacy Award. However, it made us realise we were actually carrying out community tasks and providing a service to the community without realising it, much of which met the Legacy standards set by the Scottish FA.”
Wilson went on to say, “It brings our club closer involvement with the Scottish FA and their Development officers, who have been very supportive of the work we do. The Legacy Award raises awareness in the community and beyond and formally recognises what we do which will be important going forward in our attempts to gain sponsorship and funding for future development plans.”
In order to gain recognition from the Scottish FA and receive their Legacy Award, clubs have to engage with and benefit their community. Bonnyrigg’s activities include running an after school club, leading the establishment of the New Lasswade Community Hub bringing together all organisations in the Bonnyrigg area and providing secondary school students seeking Princes Trust awards with the opportunity to coach younger children and gain valuable credits towards their award.
Since securing the Legacy Award, the club has noticed increased interest in their youth teams. Although, there is one thing which is holding Rose back from bringing in more players, as Jim explains: “The difficulty we have is our training facilities are at saturation point and we are limited in how many more players we can take into the club.
"For example, our Youth Academy Director now has a waiting list for new four and five year old players as we have had to restrict him to an intake of only 30 players this year. This will however stand us in good stead once our plans for further facilities are in place."

Ben Riches | YFS South East Region Journalist
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