Aaron Jarvis and Tommy Bowe helped Bridgend Athletic U14's start 2012 with a bang when they joined Bridgend Player Development Officer Tom Cole to host a special development evening at the club.
The pair were the star attractions, helping to deliver coaching clinics focusing on their specialist areas of the game. Tommy worked with the backs on running lines, tackle evasion and ball handling, while Aaron packed down with the forwards to work on lineout and scrummaging technique.
The youngsters all enjoyed their evening, picking up valuable tips from two experienced players who are currently involved in the region’s Heineken Cup campaign, taking time out from training to spend time with potential Ospreys of the future.
Speaking after the visit, British Lion Tommy said:
“The children from Bridgend Athletic were brilliant. They were so attentive and really wanted to learn. The weather wasn’t the best but that didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. I just hope that I managed to help their development in some way!”
“It was good to be able to get stuck in with the boys who really wanted to learn from the session” added Jarvis, who signed for the Ospreys last summer.
“As players we always enjoy being able to help young players develop, it’s fantastic for to be able to give something back to the local community like this. We’ve got a lot of boys in the squad at the moment who came through at Bridgend Athletic so who knows, there might be one or two future Ospreys in the group we worked with this week.”
Development Officer Tom Cole commented:
“The session was extremely beneficial for both parties as the players were able to pass on some valuable advice and experience and I was able to get a closer look at the players in preparation for the new U14 ID programme starting at the end of this month.”
Bridgend Athletic were among the first to sign up to the Ospreys club support scheme after it was launched by the Community Development team at the region at the start of this season with the aim of allowing them to work even closer with local rugby clubs for the good of rugby in the region at all levels.
Designed to build on the outstanding work already being carried out by the community team, with 20 clubs actively working with the Development Officers to increase player numbers in their junior sections last season alone, the club support scheme rewards pro-active clubs in a number of ways, with the development team also working closely with local schools to drive new players towards the club rugby set-up.
Since its launch in August, 46 clubs from the length and breadth of Ospreylia have already committed to the scheme, registering with WRU/Ospreys Regional Development Manager Ben Rose, providing details of the best club contacts at each age-grade level.
With two-thirds of the region’s clubs already committed to the scheme, they will benefit from a number of new initiatives aimed at supporting club operations, driving player recruitment and retention, and developing club coaches to help improve playing standards throughout the region.
Ben Rose said that while the response to the scheme has been fantastic, he wanted the outstanding clubs to also commit to the scheme:
“For 46 clubs to have already signed up to the new club support scheme is a real indication that clubs in the region want to interact with the Ospreys, and that they believe it is an initiative that will be hugely beneficial to them.
“We want to ensure that every club in the region has the tools and support to grow. They are the lifeblood of the Ospreys and it is essential that we do all we can to help them develop and to grow the game throughout Ospreylia. Without a strong and vibrant club rugby scene, there is no future for the Ospreys. We have preached the gospel of development from within and this is us living those words. To create sustainability for the Ospreys, we need to develop players, coaches, administrators and supporters who will be the lifeblood of the region for many years to come and this support scheme will allow us to do that.
“If any supporters are involved with a club that has yet to commit to the scheme I would urge them to get in touch to see how we can help them.”
Clubs who have signed up for the new club support scheme already are:
Swansea – 13
Waunarlwydd, Mumbles, Swansea Uplands, Morriston, Dunvant, Gowerton, Penclawdd, South Gower, Bonymaen, Loughor, Pontaddulais, Gorseinon, Fall Bay
Bridgend – 12
Pencoed, Bridgend Ath', Kenfig Hill, Porthcawl, Tondu, Maesteg Welsh, Nantyfyllon, Bridgend Sports, Bryncethin, Ogmore Vale, Maesteg Celtic, Nantymoel.
Neath Port Talbot – 21
Bryncoch, Ystradgynlais, Pontardawe, Abercrave, Glynneath, Skewen, Cwmavon, Seven Sisters, Aberavon Green Stars, Taibach, Briton Ferry, Tonna, Corus, Crynant, Cwmtwrch, Cwmgwrach, Resolven, Cwmgors, Baglan, Llandarcy, Banwen
If you are involved with a local club and require further information on the support scheme, please contact Ben Rose, either via email at email@example.com or by calling 07584 488298.