Twenty clubs have already signed up to a new support scheme launched by the Ospreys less than a month ago that is intended to see the region working closer with local rugby clubs than ever before.
The new support scheme follows on from the outstanding work carried out by the Development Officers that saw them assist twenty clubs to increase player numbers in their junior sections last season, and will reward pro-active clubs in a number of ways, with the team working with local schools to drive new players to the clubs.
Clubs from all corners of the region have already committed to the scheme by registering with WRU/Ospreys Regional Development Manager Ben Rose, providing details of the best club contacts at each age-grade level.
This ensures that when Development Officers are able to identify suitable new playing recruits on their school visits they are able to ensure the young players are directed to the correct person when interested in taking up club rugby.
Once registered, all coaches will be put on the Ospreys coach database and invited to WRU/Ospreys coaching seminars, while the club will receive a number of benefits, including special events aimed at developing existing coaches operating with the club, priority access for player appearances to help recruit players and develop the club, access to special Ospreys ticketing promotions and the opportunity to become involved in half-time tag events or the guard of honour, at forthcoming Ospreys matches.
WRU/Ospreys Regional Development Manager Ben Rose, said:
“The response to this initiative has been very positive, with almost a third of our clubs already seeing the benefits of signing up to work in partnership with the Ospreys.
“We want to provide the best possible support to these clubs in order to help them develop and to grow the game in Ospreylia, and in order to do so, we need to know who is involved, who has what responsibilities, and what assistance they need. By signing up to this support scheme and providing us with all the relevant details, we can improve the service we give to the clubs, as well as working with them in a number of other ways that will give added value to our relationship.
“Our Community Development team is working hard to ensure that the Ospreys Development Pathway is the strongest, most effective, in the European game, by ensuring that our grass roots clubs have the building blocks in place to allow them to produce the young players that could go on to represent the region.”
Darren Underhill of Kenfig Hill RFC, said:
“The mini and junior section at Kenfig Hill RFC has been lucky enough to work fairly closely with Ospreys Rugby over the last year or two. Early in 2011 Ospreys held a coach education session for our parent volunteers, which means we now have another twelve qualified coaches in the section. Our youngsters are greatly benefitting from the formal training, which compliments the undoubted commitment of our coaching team.
“Last season we also invited Ospreys players to attend one of our Wednesday evening training sessions. Half a dozen senior and junior players attended despite the awful conditions on the evening. The event was a success for the club and a great, if incredibly muddy evening for the children. The mums of Kenfig Hill enjoyed watching the Ospreys players training too!
“Last season our U8s thoroughly enjoyed getting to the semi-final of the half-time tag rugby tournament at the Liberty Stadium. This season has got off to an equally exciting start as our U8s were delighted to play during the Ospreys v Russia match.
“Involving Ospreys in the community clubs that feed the region can only be of benefit to Welsh rugby. The new Ospreys Club Scheme is another step in the right direction.”
Alex Young from Tondu RFC added:
“I must say that we have been pleasantly surprised at the results. I asked for help from the community coaches in line out work for our U13s, no problem the community team delivered,
“Without asking, Tom Cole offered some players to come to our recruitment campaign. Much appreciated and a big success, with eleven new recruits for Tondu. So far, the community team have delivered and I think all clubs should buy into it.”
Clubs already signed up to the scheme are:
Afan Nedd District: