The Ospreys Community Rugby Department is hosting a series of one-day rugby festivals for comprehensive schools throughout December.
So far, nine schools have committed to participating at the festivals, which will take place at Porthcawl and Cynffig Comprehensives, with one festival catering for each school year.
The schools confirmed so far are YGG Llangynwyd, Pencoed, Porthcawl, Cynffig, Ogmore, Brynteg, Ynysawdre, St Clares and Maesteg.
The festivals will bring to a close a very busy year for Gary Clement, Ospreys Development Officer for the Bridgend District, who has hosted a series of rugby festivals during 2009, as well hosting coaching sessions at individual schools, providing a taste of rugby to hundreds of schoolchildren of all ages.
This months festivals will provide the Ospreys Development Officers with an opportunity to see players at a mid way point through the season, as Gary Clement explained:
“The activities that we are taking place in throughout the Bridgend are very important to the Ospreys in terms of getting players onto the development pathway. We’ve had a busy year of festivals aimed at giving these youngsters a real taste of the game. The real sign of success can be seen in the number of youngsters who have developed a keen interest on the back of the work that our Community Development Officers have been doing in the schools and are now playing the game regularly.
“If we are to develop sustainable long term success at the Ospreys then we need to ensure that we get as many young people playing the game as possible, and these tournaments are certainly helping us to do this. The festivals for the younger schoolchildren will give us the chance to identify players that have developed since the start of the season, as well as providing a great opportunity for school teachers to play the players in a series of friendly matrix games. The children will go away from there having had a fun, friendly day of playing rugby against numerous numbers of schools.
“The Year 10 festival, which is being held at Cynffig Comprehensive is a particularly important one. At this age group, a lot of school players find that their playing time with their school team can be limited due to the intense level of district competition at Dewar Shield level. By hosting this festival, we are giving a lot of players an opportunity to represent their school that may have been affected by the lack of rugby. There will be four teams that are chosen from this tournament to go forward and represent Bridgend Schools at an Ospreylia Year 10 tournament later in the school year. Importantly, this tournament will also provide Ospreys Age Grade coaches with a valuable opportunity to watch players that could potentially represent the region next year.”