Whether you’re aware of it or not, there’s a quiet revolution going on within Ayrshire’s sporting world.

The West of Scotland- traditionally not a rugby heartland – has seen playing numbers boom over the past few years. To back up the longstanding, typical men’s teams, women’s rugby has been a hugely popular and rapidly growing sport. However, it’s the expansion at youth level that’s really swelled.

And around 40% of the numbers are coming from the Largs, Fairlie and West Kilbride areas at Ardrossan Accies.

At the Accies, youngsters are welcome from four years of age onwards. There’s a large, well-established youth section that caters for Micro rugby players (Primary 1-3), Mini rugby players (Primary4-7), under 13s, under 14s, under 15s and under 18s. The youngsters train at Ardrossan throughout the year, playing their home fixtures at the Memorial Field ground.

The friendly, inclusive attitude of the players, coaches and parents adds to the community feel at the Accies.

The coaches are almost all parent helpers, all PVG approved and undertake the Scottish Rugby Union’s mandatory training modules. The players come from a wide area- The Three Towns (Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston), West Kilbride, Largs, Kilwinning – getting together to represent their club with pride.

The parental support for the youngsters is outstanding with match days drawing crowds, cheers and plenty of positivity. The after-match socialising and feeding is always a good opportunity for the kids to develop their friendships, whilst the parental social scene is none too shabby either with regular nights out and big club events. The club welcomes members in all forms from players, coaches, parents to simple supporters, anyone can join up and all are welcome. Inclusion for the whole community is ethos.

As a sport, Rugby is fun, athletic and skilful. The Micros (P1-3) play touch rugby, with ball handling, speed, passing and footwork being the core skills. From Minis onwards (P4-7) the players begin contact work including safely taught tackling, whilst never losing the focus on skills over physicality.

Rugby has a role for players of all shapes, sizes, speed and ability due to the different roles players take on within a team as they move towards senior rugby. The Accies currently have a hugely successful women’s rugby team and their Minis and Micros play mixed in gender squads.

Regular trips to watch the Warriors and Scotland occur each year as well as highly enjoyable visits from the professional players themselves.

So, whether you’re a former player thinking of picking up the ball again, someone who’s never played but keen on the challenge and rewards of rugby, or whether you’re a parent of a child who needs sport in their life, but you haven’t figured out which one – come along to Ardrossan Academicals RFC this year. Minis train every Wednesday from August 16th 6.30-7.30pm Minis and Micros train/play matches every Sunday from August 20th 12.30-2pm.

Find them on Facebook, Twitter or www.ardrossanrugby.com