CGI contract renewal boosts Southern Knights’ community programmes in the Borders

Southern Knights General Manager Kieran Cooney

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The Southern Knights are set to enjoy a boost in their programme of community activities in the Borders thanks to the renewal of their contract with global IT and business consulting services company CGI.

The agreement will see CGI play an active part in the Knights’ rugby development initiatives across the local community. The company’s logo will also continue to be displayed on the Southern Knights match and training kit for next season’s Super Series.

Among the community-led activities that CGI is backing is the Southern Knights’ Getting Onside project, which sees the club work with Borders pupils struggling in mainstream education so they can use rugby as a vehicle for positive behavioural change and reconnect with their classes and studies.

Southern Knights are also looking to launch a Walking Rugby programme, which can be played by everyone but aims to encourage older people to take part. It sees participants play on a half pitch, walking at all times, with no actual tackling, but contact coming through a touch on the arm or below.

CGI has been the principal sponsor of Southern Knights since the team’s inception in 2019. The company is also a major employer in the Scottish Borders area, with an office in Tweedbank, and is primary IT provider for Scottish Borders Council.

Southern Knights General Manager Kieran Cooney said: “CGI have been an amazing supporter of the Knights programme since its inception in 2019 and it is tremendous news that they have renewed their partnership with the club.

“This partnership has a huge impact and has allowed us to restructure our community programme which will enable us to deliver a more enhanced rugby and well-being provision to the local community.

“Through CGI’s support, we will deliver a number of rugby development initiatives that will use the sport as a vehicle to support positive change and improve social engagement within the local community. These programmes aim to improve health and mental well-being and improve confidence resilience for its participants, as well as learning new skills and improving behaviours.

“Already CGI’s support has had a positive impact. Together, we have piloted a Getting Onside project that has seen us work with students from the Borders struggling in mainstream education, where we are working with them to re-engage by learning rugby values such as leadership, teamwork and fitness.

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“CGI’s support has enabled us to have this positive impact and we are delighted to see this partnership grow and go from strength to strength.”

John Wordsworth Goodram, Vice President for CGI said: “CGI is very happy to continue its support of Southern Knights as principal sponsor. The rugby club is an important pillar of the Borders community. Together, this coming season, we look forward to building on this foundation to strengthen the relationship with this area, principally its more vulnerable members both young and old alike.

“As a result, we wholeheartedly endorse Southern Knights’ Getting Onside pilot project and look forward to it expanding further in the weeks and months ahead. Walking Rugby is also another fantastic initiative that will encourage others to enjoy this growing non-contact form of the game.

“CGI is very much looking forward to the season ahead and the opportunities, both on and off the field of play, that it will bring.”

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