Business leaders from the Bridgend region gave the Ospreys a warm welcome at a business networking event and press conference co-hosted by the Ospreys and networking body Introbiz at the flagship Sinclair Mercedes Benz dealership to mark their return to the Brewery Field. The Ospreys play Harlequins in the LV= Cup on Sunday February 3 at 5pm.
A number of respected business leaders from the region supported the event. One of the speakers was Steve Dalton OBE, Managing Director of the Sony UK Technology Centre in Bridgend.
He said: “I know what rugby means to Bridgend and it has produced a deep tradition of talent over the years. It is very important that rugby of the highest standard still comes here. Seeing the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field full of people watching rugby is a great sight and one I hope to enjoy on a regular basis in the future.
“It is fantastic to welcome the Ospreys back to Bridgend. We work closely with the Ospreys as a community partner and know first-hand how they are committed throughout the region, promoting rugby as the catalyst for life-long learning skills for our next generation. In addition, this fixture provides great opportunities for the business network of Bridgend to come together.”
Andrew Edwards, General Manager of Sinclair Mercedes Benz, said that the dealership was privileged to host the event and pleased to see top flight rugby being played in the town again.
“We are proud of our links in Bridgend and it is great to see the Ospreys embracing this region,” he said.
The Bridgend area has a proud tradition of producing top class rugby players with more capped Welsh players coming from the area than any other part of Wales. It also boasts 8,000 small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered in the region – only 3,500 fewer than Swansea – making it an important area commercially for the Ospreys as well.
Tracey Jenkins, Director of Introbiz (UK), who partnered the Ospreys in organising the networking event, said the success of the event clearly showed the power and importance of collaboration in business and sport.
“Collaboration is more important than ever in these challenging times and events such as this represent a win-win scenario for both our members and the Ospreys,” she said.
“This was an opportunity to network with a vibrant selection of businesses from outside our area while hearing from some fascinating business leaders at the same time.”
Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer of the Ospreys, expressed how important the Bridgend business community is to the region and gave an overview of how the Ospreys are developing this – both on and off the pitch.
“We are known as the one true region in Wales and events such as this illustrate our commitment to that,” he said.
“When the Bridgend club was in trouble financially it was an easy decision to help out and we have also made the case strongly that Bridgend must remain in the Premiership. It is an area rich in rugby talent and we are delighted to help develop that.
“Off the pitch as well, businesses in the Bridgend area have always been very supportive and we have some major commercial partners there already. This event allowed us to open even more doors and explain to businesses what we are trying to achieve as a region, and the crucial part that Bridgend has to play in our organisation.”