Many congratulations to our Development Officer, Dominic Stewart, who has won the Scottish Rugby Community Award for Diversity & Inclusion. Dom ensures that any child who wants to play rugby can play. No-one is excluded. He is totally dedicated and puts a great deal of time and effort into developing the youth section at Park Farm. An award well deserved.
Scottish Rugby Diversity & Inclusion Award – Dominic Stewart, Dumfries Saints RFC
Dominic Stewart has been described as an individual who was “worked determinedly” to make a difference in Dumfries by breaking down social and financial barriers to participation in rugby and bridging the gaps between communities within the area.
Dominic has been running a number of inclusion initiatives from the club including; securing funding to provide players access to suitable training kit, obtaining donations of Easter eggs and selection boxes at Christmas, delivering activity to support more girls into rugby, and supporting young people’s mental wellbeing.
The club say that “there is nothing that Dominic won’t do to support young people in rugby”, always placing the safety and wellbeing of the players he works with at the heart of everything he does.
Prior to Dominic taking up post as Rugby Development Officer with Dumfries Saints, the club only delivered rugby to a handful of girls through their mini’s section.
Recognising the gap in transitioning for mini to youth rugby, Dominic set about creating a pathway programme for girls to not only continue their rugby journey, but also start one.
The success of this programme has led to an increase of over 40 girls playing across three squads for Dumfries Saints, which Dominic continues to manage and coach himself.
Furthermore, Dominic has championed the fight in tackling period poverty in the local area and supported the club to become better equipped to support the girls’ needs.
Beyond the rugby field, in his spare time Dominic has also been involved in the School of Rugby and Police Scotland’s ‘Saturday Night Under the Lights’ project. This project offers young people a place to go on a Saturday night in a bid to avoid anti-social behaviour in the community.
The club firmly believe that the “understanding and empathy” Dominic shows for players and their families, has been a lifeline to helping individuals feel supported and listened to.