The Ospreys handed almost 2,000 children from primary schools across the region a taste of rugby in unique surroundings last week, in the fourth annual beach rugby festival.
Held over three consecutive days on the beaches of Ospreylia, the festival is now in its fourth year, and the 2015 version was the biggest and best yet.
Kicking off at Rest Bay in Porthcawl last Monday, with over 500 children taking part, it then moved to Aberavon on Tuesday where, again, there were 500 participants, before culminating on Swansea Bay where more than 700 pupils congregated for the largest beach rugby day of activity ever organised by the Ospreys.
Mixed teams of boys and girls, many of whom were playing rugby for the first time, enjoyed the chance to enjoy the sport in a relaxed and non-competitive environment, with almost four times as many children participating than when the first beach rugby festival took place back in 2012.
According to Tom Sloane, Community Rugby Officer at the Ospreys, the festival has been a huge success:
“To have almost 2,000 children enjoying a day of outdoor activity with a rugby ball in hand, all under the Ospreys banner, is fantastic” said Sloane
“I’ve been involved in all four of our annual beach festivals and it’s been great to see it growing year on year as word of mouth has spread about what an enjoyable day it is and, undoubtedly, this year’s has been the best yet.
“Many of these children have never played rugby before, so for them to try it out and see for themselves how much fun it can be, you can’t put a price on it.
“We have a fantastic local environment and these great beaches allows us to take rugby away from muddy pitches and place it somewhere that children love being. Off the back of that, we are able to engage with the pupils and encourage them to take a greater interest in the game, be that playing or supporting, helping to grow rugby at junior level. That is crucial to the future of the Ospreys.”