Portobello ‘Mini’ Rugby – The Hornets

Portobello Mini Rugby has long been an established feature of Porty life and many children have pulled on the famous Blue and Gold of the mighty Portobello Hornets. We offer Mini Rugby for P2-P7 boys and girls, and provide an early years grounding in the fundamentals of rugby. In the later Primary School years we are aiming to provide a solid grounding for the transition to the full 15 aside game.

The youngsters make friends, enjoy outdoor exercise two or three times a week and as a way of making long lasting friendships rugby has few equals in sport. The inclusive nature of the mini rugby set up ensures the transition from primary to secondary school can be so much easier with friends across all the feeder schools in the area.

In the initial stages the game is based on the Touch Rugby principles with little or no contact or tackling. This introduces the children to the basics of passing, running and supporting without experiencing any knocks or bangs in the contact situation.

Later the basics of tackling, set piece play (such as rucking, scrums and lineouts) are introduced, but only in the years where these are deemed appropriate to the children’s maturity and physical development. The aim of mini rugby is to instil and teach rugby skills, teamwork, fitness and discipline whilst ensuring above all else that the children enjoy the game and bond and form friendships with their team mates. Many friendships in rugby last a lifetime and the exposure this gives to children across the schools in the area is absolutely invaluable.

Usually the games starts at 6 aside (P2/3 – P5) then increases to 8 aside at P6 and then up to 10 aside at P7 with pitch sizes increasing accordingly.

We would love to welcome your child to Porty Rugby – please contact Vic Rickis – 07899 068330  for further details.

Key Contacts

Role(s) Name Contact detail
Portobello Mini Rugby Convener Vice Pres. Vic Rickis                 07899 068330
Portobello Mini Rugby Child Protection Officer / Coach Compliance Barry Sinclair

07833 051769

Portobello FP RFC President Eddie Robb             07920 016588
Portobello FP RFC Secretary / Coach Co-ordinator
Barry Sinclair        07833 051769

Club Policies

Coaching qualifications – the club provides full mandatory training and vetting for all coaches and all the adults involved in training the children are fully compliant with Child Protection legislation and the Scottish Rugby coaching requirements. All our coaches are required to complete the Rugby Right training each year as a minimum requirement. The club also has a number of Level 1 and Level 2 qualified rugby coaches and we pride ourselves in teaching rugby in a structured, positive and welcoming way.

The emphasis at Porty Rugby is firmly on enjoyment and we stress the importance of cooperation and teamwork and the ethics surrounding the great game of Rugby Union.

Child Protection – all of our coaches hold the Scottish Government Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme membership via the Scottish Rugby Union. The club has a trained child protection officer (Sharon Fairweather sharonfairweather@hotmail.com) and follows the best practice guidelines issued by the Scottish Rugby Union.


Training sessions for all groups are as follows – Sundays 11.00 (except match days);

Age Group Training sessions Coaches / contact details:

P7 Sunday 11.00am – 12.00am

P6 Sunday 11.00am – 12.00pm Vic Rickis 07899 068330 and Ed Henderson

P5 Sunday 11.00am – 12.00am Eddie Robb 07920 016588 and David Barnes

P4 Sunday 11.00am – 12.00am Richard Holden

P2/3 Sunday 11.00am – 12.00pm James Carver

Training sessions and home games take place at the 3G pitch at Portobello High School (Milton Road East) from September until March (August and April sessions are held at Cavalry Park (Duddingston Playing Fields on Duddingston Road West).

Please aim to be on time and ready to play at the start of the training session. This ensures that your child participates in a proper warm up session at the start of training. Please also ensure that you collect your child promptly at the end of the training session.

If the conditions are not appropriate for training at appointed venue alternative venues such as the beach may be used. Each year group will have their own specific communication channels for alerting parents / carers about last minute changes to arrangements.


All players P4 and above MUST wear a properly fitted mouth guard. They will not be allowed to train or play without it. Mouth guards can be purchased for a reasonable price at the main sports outlets and on-line. Mouth guards can be cut down to fit younger players.

For playing at Cavalry Park or other grass venues, players will require boots with aluminium studs. The club has a selection of second hand boots of various sizes that are available for exchange. Players can use “astro” style boots for training on the 3G pitches at Portobello High School, or can wear their rugby boots. Normal trainers are not recommended to be used.

Players do not need to wear Portobello strips for training but should be appropriately clothed for the weather conditions. Unless the weather is very poor, training / matches will normally go ahead, so be prepared for cold, wet and muddy conditions.

Portobello strips will be provided for matches (at no cost to parents).


Our games are generally played against neighbouring teams in and around Edinburgh and the Lothians with occasional forays into the Borders. All games are closely game coached by referees and there are very carefully laid out laws for mini rugby concerning tackling and contact, manners and behaviour (of players, spectators and coaches) to ensure the playing environment is suitable for primary school age children. Games are played on Sundays between September and May. Please find attached a note of this year’s fixtures as it currently stands. Further information is provided in the week before fixtures with specific details such as times, venues etc. Transport to / from fixtures is arranged between parents / carers within each year group.Portobello Hornets Fixtures 19-20


Subscriptions for P2/P3 to P7 are £120 per year (£10 per month August to July). The best way to pay is by monthly standing order – bank details are:

– Portobello FP RFC

– sort code – 80-18-31

– account code – 00259786

Please use your child’s name and surname as the reference so that the club treasurer can easily track the payments.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque or cash, please speak to your individual year-group coach or manager.


The club is run entirely by volunteers, and therefore additional help is always welcome. Whilst it is recognised that a weekly commitment is often not feasible, there are also plenty of opportunities to help out on an ad-hoc basis. Please let your coaches know if you are interested in getting involved. If you are willing to volunteer on a regular basis PVG scheme membership (organised through the club at no cost) will be required.


The club has a club house at Cavalry Park which is available for use by the youth and minis sections as well as the adults. The club holds social BBQs in the summer months and arranges occasional social events for the children at other times. However, these are dependent on volunteers offering to help, so please do not hesitate to get involved if you can.

Scottish Rugby has a Schools and Youth Playing Charter, which sets out the minimum codes of standard for everyone involved in rugby and Portobello Rugby Club fully support this charter. The club requests that parents and carers of players also abide by the code. The standards are set out below:
Coaches & Team Officials’ Code
· Take ownership of player well-being and create a culture that centres around respect and enjoyment. Maintain the safety and well-being of your players at all times. This is the coaches’ priority.
· Abide by all policies issued by Scottish Rugby and your school or club
· Create an enjoyable and fun environment
· Develop open, positive relationships built on mutual trust and respect
· Communicate effectively and clearly define roles and responsibilities
· Agree goals and targets that value participation, performance and fair play
· Promote collaboration between staff, volunteers and parents
· Set high standards and be a positive role model
· Be proud of your school or club—look the part!
· Understand, embrace and promote Scottish Rugby’s core values
· Be an ambassador for the game of rugby
Players Code
· Work as a team, respect the opposition and referee, and, above all else, enjoy yourself!
· Always bring a positive and playful attitude
· Listen carefully, contribute and interact
· Encourage your team mates and support your school or club
· Accept decisions made by match officials, and do so without complaint
· Appreciate and recognise good play by both teams
· Win with humility and lose with dignity
· Always remain calm and in control of your temper
· Acknowledge and thank officials, and the opposition
· Be proud of your school or club—look the part!
· Understand, embrace and promote Scottish Rugby’s core values
· Be an ambassador for the game of rugby
Parents & Spectators Code
· Encourage young players, support their development and set a good example.
· Teach your child to play by the rules
· Instil the importance of good sportsmanship and honest endeavour
· Encourage playing for enjoyment and reiterate that winning isn’t everything
· Form positive relationships—create the right environment for development
· Support coaching staff and volunteers—thank them for their efforts
· Attend matches and support your child’s school or club
· Applaud the performance of both teams – ALWAYS
· Respect match officials and their decisions – ALWAYS
· Avoid confrontation and discourage negative behaviour – ALWAYS
· Understand, embrace and promote Scottish Rugby’s core values

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