Sopra helps create employment opportunities by supporting rugby apprentices in Renfrewshire

Sopra continue their efforts to support sporting participation for young people in local communities.

At a Renfrewshire Rugby development day in Paisley, Sopra, the leading European IT Services Organisation announced it had sponsored the employment of three second year modern apprentices within Renfrewshire.  The modern apprentices were funded in their first year by the Scottish Rugby Union and Renfrewshire Council. With the support of Sopra all three apprentices, Amanda Moore, Andrew Evans and Murray Sutherland, are able continue into year two of the rugby apprentice programme which is developed and managed by Scottish Rugby Union.

Sopra's Managing Director, Ian Huckle, visited the apprentices with Sopra's Scottish Rugby Ambassador and ex-Scottish rugby international Scott Hastings and Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Sports Leisure and Culture Policy Board, as they delivered Renfrewshire rugby's annual development day for Secondary 1 and 2 boys.

Councillor Harte said "It's great to see companies taking an interest in the young people of the area and helping them reach their potential.  Invest in Renfrewshire has worked very hard to secure funding for many young apprentices, graduate interns and young people who are out of work. It is exciting to see the hard work pay off and organisations with a presence in the Renfrewshire area getting involved."

The three apprentices will work with the existing team to further develop and expand Renfrewshire schools' Rugby Development Programme.  They will help create a stronger link between the schools Programme and local clubs and aim to inspire many young people to become involved in rugby, which can help develop essential life skills such as respect, teamwork, discipline and sportsmanship, qualities that can then transfer to other areas of life.

Ian Huckle said "Sopra is pleased to be able to create opportunities for employment via the apprentice scheme.  We recognise the positive and dynamic impact sport can have on lives. It can inspire and motivate children to strive for a better quality of life and develop core skills. By investing in the apprentices we hope we can help deliver a sustainable sporting legacy in the area."

Front Row:Lindsey Smith (Renfrewshire), Alison McLaughlin (Sopra), Murray Sutherland, Amanda Moore, Andrew Evans, Scott Hastings, Ian Huckle (MD, Sopra), Cllr Harte, Glenn Tippett (SRU)

Andrew Evans, Ian Huckle  (Sopra), Scott Hastings, Murray Sutherland, Amanda Moore

Murray Sutherland, Amanda Moore, Scott Hastings and Andrew Evans

Sopra will fund leadership training and mentoring for the apprentices including expert coaching which will also involve other apprentices Sopra support in the UK. To ensure as many children as possible can participate in the Programme they also continue to provide kit and equipment.

Scott Hastings who is the Scottish Sopra Ambassador for Rugby & Investment in Sport shared some advice with the apprentices and children taking part.

Scott Hastings added "With a long involvement in sport and rugby in particular I know that Amanda, Andrew and Murray will be gaining a huge amount from their apprenticeships, as will the children they are working with on a daily basis. Coaching has its own rewards and Sopra's support is helping give young people the confidence to go out into their local communities and make a difference."