Young rugby players from six Ayrshire schools are gearing up for an exciting sporting challenge at the home of the Glasgow Warriors.

The 2024 SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship gets underway at Scotstoun Stadium next week, and will include pupils from Belmont Academy in Ayr, Grange Academy in Kilmarnock, Marr College in Troon, the Robert Burns Academy in Cumnock, St Matthew's Academy in Saltcoats and Largs Academy all get involved.

They will compete with pupils from 17 other schools across the country between February and May in a bid to take home the Championship title.

Ayr Advertiser: SP Energy Networks' Guy Jefferson and Al Kellock, Glasgow Warriors, with the Championship trophy.SP Energy Networks' Guy Jefferson and Al Kellock, Glasgow Warriors, with the Championship trophy. (Image: SP Energy Networks)

The Championship – now in its seventh year – was created by the Warriors and the electricity network operator to help improve access to grassroots level rugby.

It also supports young people to develop teamworking, leadership and communications skills, while promoting science and showcasing STEM opportunities to inspire them to think about future careers.

Glasgow Science Centre provided the venue for the official launch of the 2024 Championship, with Marr College players Amelia Grant and Ciaran Moncrieff and Robert Burns Academy’s John Caldwell and Kate Petrie taking part.

Ayr Advertiser: Glasgow Warriors' Holland, Ceitidh and ChloeGlasgow Warriors' Holland, Ceitidh and Chloe (Image: SP Energy Networks)

Amelia and Ciaran said: “It was good fun to try different experiments at the science centre and we’re really looking forward to playing in the Championship and getting the chance to play against other teams with different skills and abilities.”

John and Kate added: “We loved meeting the players and are excited about playing new teams and seeing how well we can do against them.

"It’s going to be great fun and we can’t wait to get started.”

Former Scotland international Al Kellock, now Glasgow Warriors' managing director, added: “Our partnership with SP Energy Networks is all about community and it’s a partnership that goes far beyond the boundaries of Glasgow city as we can see by the wide spread of schools taking part this year.

“By working together, we’re creating valuable opportunities for participation, education and competition that are already creating a legacy thanks to the likes of Ceitidh, Chloe and Holland who are now playing for the Warriors’ first-event women’s team. It’s just incredible.

“That’s all thanks to our partnership with SP Energy Networks which – like the Championship itself – continues to grow from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see this year’s competition get underway.”