Scottish rugby legend Finn Russell kicks off our fundraising campaign!

Scottish Waterways Trust has launched a fundraising campaign headed up by Scotland rugby player Finn Russell to develop a Waterways Hub in Falkirk.

Back in May its outside classroom was deliberately burned down, meaning the venue where skills workshops and other courses were based was lost.

Now the Trust is looking to raise £10,000 to develop a new hub through Crowdfunder: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-waterways-hub.  Members of the public and businesses will be able to donate money to the cause, as well as buy a number of items including a signed rugby shirt from Finn!

The hub will be used to deliver the Trust’s employability programmes, helping disadvantaged young people in the area, and will be available for local community use.

Commenting on the campaign, Karen Moore, Chief Executive of Scottish Waterways Trust said:

We were devastated when the outside classroom was deliberately set on fire.  Rather than put up a temporary structure we decided to launch a fundraising campaign to develop a Waterways Hub.  By creating this space, we will be able to help more young people develop skills as well as teach more school age children about the history and nature of the canal.

We will also be able to recruit more volunteers to help local people connect with, care for and benefit from the rich environment and heritage of Falkirk’s two historic canals on their doorstep.

As a charity we, unfortunately, don’t have limitless cash reserves, hence we are asking for help! It doesn’t matter how big or small the donation – we appreciate whatever help people can give.

Finn Russell, a former Falkirk RFC and current Glasgow Warriors player is supporting the fundraising campaign.  He said:

I had a great year playing rugby at Falkirk RFC and know first-hand just how tight-knit the local community is.  To have a new Waterways Hub in Falkirk which can be used by locals and also to run programmes to get young people into work is a fantastic resource.

I want to support the community that supported me, so to help kick-off the fundraising campaign, I’ve donated a signed rugby jersey which is available to buy through Scottish Waterways Trust crowdfunding page (insert hyperlink).  Good luck!

Scottish Waterways Trust will apply for grant funding for the remainder of the budget to develop the hub.

To make a donation simply click on this link here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-waterways-hub

NOTES TO EDITORS

Scottish Waterways Trust (SWT)

  • SWT creates brighter futures for people, wildlife and communities across Scotland’s canals
  • By connecting people with the heritage, wildlife and green open spaces of the Scottish canals, SWT inspires people to get active, improve their health and mental well-being, employment prospects and community life.
  • Find out more at scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk or @ScotlandsCanals
  • For further information about the campaign, photography or to request an interview with a campaign spokesperson, please contact: Holly Garland at garlandpr on 07958 363538 or at holly@garlandpr.co.uk

FINN RUSSELL

Finn Alastair Russell – a British & Irish Lion in 2017 – became Scotland’s 1056th capped player when he made his debut against the USA on the first match of Scotland’s 2014 summer tour, and sparked the beginning of a blossoming international career.

It capped an excellent season for Russell who fought off fierce competition to become first choice stand-off at Glasgow Warriors on their run to the PRO12 final. He made his first appearance at BT Murrayfield for Scotland in the 41-31 win against Argentina in November 2014.

His first try in professional rugby came when he crossed the line in the final game of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship, against Ireland, at BT Murrayfield.

He continued to showcase his talents in the 2015 Summer Test matches against Italy in the 48-8 win, and in the narrow loss to France the following week, before earning selection in the 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup 2015.

He started four out of Scotland’s five games in the tournament, converting his own score against Japan in the national team’s opening match at Kingsholm Stadium, and started four of five 2016 RBS 6 Nations matches – missing the finale through injury.

Injury on Glasgow dury meant Finn was absent on the summer tour to Japan but was back in the saddle to start all of the subsequent summer tests and 2017 RBS 6 Nations in which he collected two man-of-the-match awards from Scotland’s home wins over Wales – in which which he scored 19 points – and Italy, scoring a try against the Azzurri.

Furthermore, in the absence of captain and metronomic kicker Greig Laidlaw, Russell showcased another part of his armoury, kicking 7/7 penalties and 8/10 conversions with 88% accuracy.

Russell then started – and starred – in Scotland’s summer test wins over Italy in Singapore and Australia in Syney before being called-up to the British & Lions tour in New Zealand and featuring as a replacement against the Hurricanes.

Through the ranks

The gifted stand-off was brought into the Scotstoun fold in the summer of 2012 after impressing in the club game with Falkirk and as a key member of the Scotland under-20 team during the RBS 6 Nations.

In 2011, he helped Stirling County Colts win the under-18 National Youth Cup and in 2013 it was announced he was a recipient of the MacPhail Scholarship to travel to New Zealand to develop his game.