Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Ayr Long Lunch

The Ayr Long Lunch in aid of the Bill McLaren Foundation and Ayr Community Rugby Trust at Ayr Racecourse was a resounding success on Friday.

600 guests enjoyed a delicious three-course lunch in the Ayrshire Suite, with former Scotland captain Andy Nicol leading proceedings before his fellow international legend Doddie Weir conducted the raffle and auction, with some wonderful prizes bought for a worthy cause.

The Bill McLaren Foundation supports and promotes the values of rugby throughout the world, carrying on the work its namesake started as a PE teacher and coach in Hawick many years ago. Bill's daughter Linda Lawson addressed the guests, telling them about her father's life and work and showing some classic rugby clips featuring Bill's inimitable commentary.
Former Scotland cap and Glasgow Warriors coach Sean Lineen and current Warrior Corey Flynn talked about the upcoming Lions tour, and there was entertainment from singer Cole Page, who had everyone on their feet and a few reluctant (and some not so reluctant) participants in duets.

Keith Wood finished the afternoon by sharing some memories of his time with the Lions and his playing career with Munster, Harlequins and Ireland, of which he was an iconic leader.

Neil Howie of Ayr Community Rugby Trust told the assembled company of their work throughout South Ayrshire, not only supporting Ayr RFC, Marr RFC and Carrick RFC, but taking the sport out into the community and using rugby to help give young people confidence and skills they can use in school and beyond.

Stuart Fenwick, the trust's head development officer, thanked all those who contributed to and supported its rugby programmes throughout the year and all the guests at the lunch who were so generous.

- Elena Hogarth.

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