Reported by Daily Record – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

A rugby club are breaking down barriers by ­scrumming down alongside players with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The Strathmore Clan unified team play matches against fully-able sides with a team including mixed ability players wearing red scrum caps.

Last week, they showed off their skills in front of royalty when they put on a training session for Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Forfar.

The Clan are part of TRI – Trust Rugby International – which provides people with disabilities across Scotland the opportunity to build confidence and social skills by engaging in a controlled game of contact rugby against other teams.

Anyone can play as long as they can hold a rugby ball and propel themselves forward without using a walking stick.

Teams include players with Down’s syndrome, autism and Asperger syndrome.

The Strathmore Clan, who have been playing competitively since March, feature adults with disabilities who play wearing bright headgear alongside ­able-bodied “enablers”.

Opposition teams play full rugby against the Clan but calm down whenever a “redcap” is on the ball.

Their latest ­initiative is autism-friendly rugby for primary children, which they were the first to introduce in ­Scotland in May.

The sessions are designed to create a positive learning environment for children with or undergoing ­diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their siblings. The aim is to have fun while ­developing ­confidence and social and sporting skills as well as general physical literacy. They also provide respite and social contact for parents and carers.



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