The Ospreys will take their preparations for Saturday's game against Gloucester on the road when they hold a training session at Bridgend Recreation Centre in front of hundreds of children from the area.
The region has teamed up with Play4Life, a free community play scheme operating over the summer holidays organised by Bridgend Council in conjunction with Sport Wales and Health Challenge Bridgend, and will take their final session ahead of the match on the road on Friday afternoon.
Children participating in the Play4Life camps at Bridgend Recreation Centre, Bryntirion, Maesteg, Ogmore, Pencoed and Porthcawl, as well as Community Play Schemes at Heol Y Cyw, Pen Y Fai, Brackla, Llangynwyd and Caerau, will all relocate for the day to a special Ospreys base camp at the Rec, where they will take part in a series of workshops and sessions, including football, tag rugby, rounder’s and Kwik Cricket, as well as Ospreys themed art and play.
The highlight of the day will then see the Ospreys going through a training run under the watchful eye of the children, before taking part in a Q & A session, which will be followed by a pitch-side autograph and photo session pitch.
Director of Coaching Scott Johnson said that he is looking forward to taking the team to Bridgend:
“It’s good to be able to get out there into the community, and to take a training session up to Bridgend for the afternoon will be a bit special. We saw the fantastic reaction we had when we went to Aberavon last week for the game against the Regional Select XV, it was fantastic to see so many young children out and about in Ospreys shirts meeting the players, it was a great occasion.
“We’ll be taking the full squad up to Bridgend on Friday and we’ll run through our final practice before the Gloucester game, so it will be an important session and the kids there will really be getting a treat. After that they’ll get the chance to put some questions to us, before meeting the boys and getting their autographs.
“It’s important that we do these things, and get out and about as much as we can. The boys in the squad are almost all from within the region and they can remember when they were kids and how much it meant to them to meet their rugby heroes, which is why they enjoy doing these things so much.
“Bridgend is an important part of the region so I’m really looking forward to going there on Friday and meeting some of our young fans. Who knows, we might find that the experience really inspires one or two of them to want to follow in the footsteps of some of the boys in the squad from Bridgend.”
One Osprey who hails from the Bridgend area is Lee Byrne, and he echoed Johnson’s comments:
“It’ll be good to go to Bridgend with the boys and have a training session on my home patch. There’ll be loads of local kids there keen to meet the Ospreys, it’ll be a special occasion for them. Whenever we do these kinds of events they’re always a bit special and I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully it’ll be something we can do more often, taking our training out into the community, as things like this really help us to connect with the fans.”