“A highlight for us this season to date was our games against Chepstow Gold, which showed there was an appetite for this type of rugby. Hard fought but played with excellent spirit – new friends have been made – which is what rugby is all about. It just showed that a club like ours in the Upper Swansea Valley can have an impact throughout Wales with Chepstow setting up their own team similar to ours. Risca and Upper Rhondda have set up similar teams as well. Tournaments were planned for the summer but I am sure these will be back in 2021. It’s all in the spirit of what we’re trying to achieve. Participation and getting people back on the field and having that sense of belonging.”
During these times, the club has grown its online presence to keep their members engaged away from the pitch.
“Our Whatsapp group has been our virtual rugby club. We keep a time in the diary every Thursday, when we’d usually meet, to have that regular touch point which is important. We come together for a quiz, or to share jokes and stories. We try and look out for each other on a one to one basis just to see how everyone is getting along. Thursday was very often the highlight of the week for many of our members. Whatever was going on in work or in life, they could come along on a Thursday, chuck around the ball, have a chat and a laugh and get stuff off their chests, great opportunity to get fitter in a safe and fun environment.”
“We’ve set up the 6 nations 4000-mile challenge, with the hope of engaging our members in the week which for many provides a great focus for their physical and mental health. I know I have found it personally very helpful. Collectively, we aim to cover a distance equivalent to a journey around all the Six Nations grounds - whether that be walking, running, cycling, crawling, walking the dog or mowing the lawn. We even had an entry for digging footings for a new build!
"Our target was to complete the challenge in six weeks and raise £1000 for Mind in Ystradgynlais. In just over a week we’ve smashed the fundraising target already, raising almost £1,200 but hope to raise much more and have covered half the distance already. Mileage contributions have come from over 40 participants For a small club who have only been around for less than three years, it’s a huge achievement and one we’re really proud of. What makes rugby special is how it adds value to the community in which it sits.
"As well as supporting Mind, we always try and help as much as we can around the community working with local foodbanks. In addition, following an idea from Apparel 5 and Pethau Plant, partnering with sports clubs in our area, we helped raise £1,500 for Ystradgynlais Hospital, by selling club t shirts thanking the NHS."