Unique partnership

UWS and Ayr Rugby sign up to swap best practice

ayr rugby and UWS

Andy Nicol; Paul Davidson, chairman of Ayr Community Rugby Trust; Professor Craig Mahoney, UWS principal and vice chancellor; Billy McHarg, Ayr Rugby Club president; and Gavin Hastings


University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and Ayr Rugby Club have signed a unique partnership aimed at exchanging best practice in education, research, squad development, coaching and community inclusion.

Ayr Rugby will benefit from access to UWS’s facilities such as its Biomechanics Lab and Environmental Chamber at its Lanarkshire Campus. It will also tap into research and expertise from UWS academics in the fields of sport coaching & development, as well as sport & exercise science.

Four UWS students will benefit from newly-created undergraduate internships giving them the opportunity to work closely with Ayr Rugby across a number of areas including strength and conditioning, performance analysis and marketing and promotion.

Two former British & Irish Lions captains Gavin Hastings and Brian O’Driscoll and former Scotland captain Andy Nicol were in attendance at the launch of the partnership to throw their weight behind the initiative.

The announcement follows Ayr Rugby sealing their fifth Tennent’s Premiership League win and becoming Scottish Cup Champions for the fourth time. 

UWS Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Craig Mahoney said: “We are delighted to be able to announce our partnership with Ayr Rugby.  This is an excellent fit for us as sport plays a key role at UWS and is proven to be extremely beneficial to the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of students.  To be able to work closely with one of Scotland’s top rugby clubs is truly exciting.

UWS last week announced it would become the first Higher Education institution in Scotland to open an Innovation Hub as part of Fujitsu’s dedicated Education Ambassador Programme for Scotland. 

The hub, launched in UWS’ Paisley campus, puts technology at the heart of education, enhancing learning and teaching. It is designed to provide students with the skills required to flourish in the workplace of the future therefore up-skilling the next generation of nurses, social workers and teachers, among others. 

The programme, which is run by Fujitsu in partnership with Intel, NetApp and Ruckus Networks, provides a space for students and staff to experiment with technology in a supported environment.

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