Small but mighty

05 December 2018 | Scotland


Hillsfoot FC


Meet the young coach selected for our TSB Young Leaders programme.

Meet the young coach selected for our TSB Young Leaders programme thanks to his work running the junior rugby section at Hillfoots RFC in Tillicoultry.

Barry Munro, 22, may only stand 5ft 3ins and weigh just 65kg, but it was his work with the rugby club, run in partnership with Sported, that really made him stand tall.

Barry has been coaching touch rugby since he was just 16, and also teaches dozens of local primary school children during their lunch breaks. And he is a powerhouse thanks to his martial arts background.

Barry said: “I've really got a positive growth mindset instilled in me. I believe I can do better and there's no negativity. Coaching is the only thing I've ever truly done and all I've ever wanted to do. I'm blessed that I live the life I love.”

Despite a difficult upbringing, and losing his mother aged just 18, he has now made it his life-mission to get the kids in his local area fit and healthy through sport. For Barry, it is all about keeping a positive attitude. “I don’t care if there is torrential rain, I expect my team to be out there training. And they are. It is good, we have a strong chemistry and a close bond.

“I first started with four kids playing touch rugby at my club and I've finished up on 42, so that's a really big thing especially in a small area. But I'm hungry, I want to keep improving and want to get better.”

Barry will benefit from unique training to strengthen the community club, which he praised for its ethos. As well as the youngsters, the club welcomes all age groups.

He said: “The thing that makes Hillfoots Rugby so unique, is our philosophy that everybody plays. It doesn't matter if you're a 6'2'' superstar at 20-stone that can run through everyone, or a two-stone soaking wet through winger that can't do much.

“Everybody's involved and that's a rule from the top of the club to the bottom.”

Barry is keenly aware of what he is up against with his youth team - especially with growing obesity levels.

“Fitness levels are not what they were. I think kids are spending too much time on the Xbox to be honest. There is talk about the snowflake generation, I don’t think it is necessarily true but it is fair to say that kids today are a lot softer.

“I know I have to try and build that resilience back up - for example by training in all weathers. The thing is that kids today try something once and expect to be great. I need to show them that it takes time to learn to be consistent. If they drop the ball they have two choices - they can give up or they can put it behind them and try again.

“My coaching motto is ‘next job’ in that you need to learn to move past mistakes and grow from them.”

With the programme support from TSB in partnership with sport for development charity, Sported, Barry will benefit from unique training and development opportunities to support him in his leadership role at Hillfoots RFC in turn helping strengthen the community club and create even more opportunities for young people across Clackmannanshire.

The programme rewards and supports the development of the next generation of volunteers, coaches and youth workers. Always keen to enhance his coaching skills, Barry is hoping to utilise the Young Leaders scheme to improve and benefit his local community.

“Hillfoots are like a family to me, when my mum passed away over 25 club members came to her funeral, that really touched me. Now I am giving back.”

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