Around the Community - Cefn Cribwr RFC

Whilst rugby is on hold for the time being, we contacted a few clubs from around Ospreylia to see how they were getting on during the lockdown. First up, we caught up with Cefn Cribwr RFC.

Before Covid-19 struck the club were enjoying a successful season. Their last league game on the 25th of January resulted in an away win against Maesteg. The 13-18 victory saw the Riders take third place in the league, chasing down Bryncethin in second place with a game in a hand.

Speaking about the club’s season so far, Alud Jones, the club’s Junior Section Secretary, said: “Within the junior and tots section we were going well; the numbers were up and there was a real enjoyment in the club. All the children were enjoying being on the trial of the season repositioning and we were all looking forward to playing rugby in the lighter nights out in the sunshine. Whilst the junior section didn’t have the chance to play in too much rugby after Christmas, we had a strong uptake in numbers this season with our group going from around 10-15 members up to 100 and we’re hoping to have around 120 when we return."

The seniors were also doing well and pushing for promotion in their league. They were focusing on pushing onwards towards the back end of the season but did not have the opportunity with the season being cut short. It was a bit disappointing for them to lose that momentum.”

Despite rugby being called off throughout the country, Cefn Cribwr were one of the lead organisations helping to plan and deliver activities for their rugby community.

“The club has been really mindful of its membership and all the people connected to us. They’re doing a lot to keep everyone engaged on social media to make sure the club feels part of the community and the community feels part of the club."

One of their projects to keep their members engaged during these difficult times included hosting their own virtual “Stars in their Eyes” which included an entry from Ospreys performance director, Mike Ruddock.

“Stars in their eyes was a lot of fun for us all, we had lots of talent on show from everyone and it was all to raise money for the Cwm Taf NHS Trust. The show really lifted the community’s spirits and people enjoyed watching all the videos online as well as donating to a great cause, all whilst promoting good wellbeing and mental health.”

The club’s valiant effort in fundraising saw them reach the top 3% of fundraisers on JustGiving during the month of April with £2500 raised to date and they’re not stopping there.

“On the back of this we kickstarted the “Tour De Cefn” where members are walking, cycling or rowing 2200 miles, the complete distance of the Tour de France. All the money raised from that we’re donating to local care homes; we’ve given them IT equipment to stay connected to all their families who aren’t with them during this time. Currently the total sits at just over £2000, which is an outstanding effort from a small village of 1500 people.”

They may be busy fundraising and working up a sweat in all their fundraising efforts, but the club are all making sure to keep in touch with their members for a catch up: “We’re keeping engaged with the children, Mike and the coaches send videos out to them and they let us know what they’re all getting up to and we’re all checking in with each other to make sure we’re all ok.

"Hopefully by organising all the activities we have helped the community to come together, communicated with each other all while being apart and creating a positive environment of both mental and physical wellbeing.”

"Our senior boys have used not wasted the opportunity to start their summer training a little earlier. Under the guidance of Bridgend Ravens player, Iestyn Merriman, last week the squad clocked up over 900kms. Both physically and mentally the boys seem to be in a very good place just now."

To keep up to date with all the latest news and stories from the club, follow them on their Facebook and Twitter

Photos courtesy of Gareth Davies and Cefn Cribwr RFC.