Scots teenagers were eagerly awaiting their Highers results this week, but few will have had the additonal hurdles that were presented to Hibs’ Development Squad’s Ruari Paton.

This time last year, Ruari faced leaving home and family in Dublin, getting used to a new country, and starting off on his life as a full time professional footballer, with all the pressures that entails.

However, along with his family, Ruari was determined that, as well as seeking  success in football, he was going to continue his education and keep alive his other dream of university qualifications.

Thanks to a highly successful partnership with Tranent’s Ross High School, the Hibernian Training Centre’s local secondary, the teenager  is now  the proud possessor of a Higher in PE and a Sports Leadership Award, as well as being half way through the two year Modern Apprenticeship for which all the Development Squad study, his first steps to third level education.

Education and Welfare Officer, Seán McPartlin, said: “Ross High have been hugely supportive of the club and of Ruari’s ambitions, with Headteacher Paul Reynolds and his Senior Leadership Team involved from the start. Active Sports Co-ordinator, Mark Urwin, and PE Teacher Rachel Anderson, have gone the extra mile to help Ruari succeed on only a day and a half’s attendance at school each week.”

Ross High report that Ruari has become a real role model for pupils in school and has contributed in coaching and support for a number of sports and classes. In addition, his positive participation has  spearheaded a growing partnership between Hibernian and the school community.