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Ospreys bosses today revealed that rugby clubs and schools across the region have made savings of more than £40,000 this year thanks to their groundbreaking "€˜Kits For Clubs' initiative.

Ospreys bosses today revealed that rugby clubs and schools across the region have made savings of more than £40,000 this year thanks to their groundbreaking 'Kits For Clubs' initiative. The scheme, operated by the Ospreys on a not-for-profit basis in conjunction with kit supplier Kooga and primary sponsors npower renewables, has proved a massive success with rugby administrators the length and breadth of Ospreylia with over 170 sets of kit being delivered to 53 clubs and schools in the region so far. Under the terms of the deal, clubs and schools purchasing rugby kits through the Ospreys receive a sizeable discount on high quality Kooga playing strip and regional chiefs are now calling on the dozens of rugby clubs and schools still to take advantage of the scheme to get in touch and see how they can also make substantial savings through the initiative, which can be put to good use in other areas where it may be needed. Ospreys Managing Director, Roger Blyth, said:"We are delighted with the response that we have had to this 'Kits For Clubs', which to date has seen more than 50 clubs and schools in the region benefit from the initiative, which is the first of its kind in British rugby. At the Ospreys, we pride ourselves on the strength of our community work and this initiative is yet another example of the innovative ways that we are working with our member clubs, and also with local schools, for the good of the game across the whole of the region. "So far, we have been able to deliver more than 170 sets of kit to 53 clubs and schools in the region, from Loughor in the west to Pyle in the east, but we see this as being just the tip of the iceberg. With more than 75 member clubs in the region operating sides from junior level to the senior men's team, as well as the many schools across the three unitary authorities within the region, then the potential for us to assist many more teams is obvious.

"The financial benefits of this initiative to clubs and schools are unlimited, the discounts are available on every set of strip that they purchase and during 2008 we have been able to save participants a total in excess of £40,000. The is a significant sum that can then be used elsewhere to help develop rugby at grass roots level, where it is needed most in local communities the length and breadth of Ospreylia."

Clubs and schools taking advantage of the deal receive Kooga branded equipment similar to that worn by the Ospreys themselves. The playing kit is supplied fully numbered up with the appropriate club and sponsors logos. In addition to this, the shirts also incorporate the Ospreys 'mask' logo and npower renewables branding on the collar, helping to strengthen the links between the region, its sponsor and its member clubs.  New staff have been recruited to administer the scheme on behalf of the Ospreys, and according to Roger Blyth, managing director at the region:

"The entire scheme is being operated by the Ospreys on a not-for-profit basis, but we consider the cost incurred in administering the initiative as a worthwhile investment in the local rugby community that will make a real difference to those involved in the game at grass roots level. We realise that for the Ospreys to succeed we need a thriving community game and the 'Kits for Clubs' initiative is just one way in which we are helping the game to grow across the region.

"We want to increase the number of clubs and schools who are taking advantage of the scheme, and will be delighted if uptake rises to a level where we have to take on additional staff to cope with demand as that will mean that even more will be benefiting financially from an outstanding offer."

Maesteg Welsh RFC is one of the clubs that has recently taken advantage of the initiative, and secretary Jane Kokoch has given 'Kits for Clubs' her seal of approval, saying: "This is an excellent scheme that really does make a difference where it matters most. We have purchased shirts for our mini and junior sections, saving almost £500 in the process, which means that we are left with a considerable sum of cash that can be used elsewhere. The children also get a real buzz from taking to the pitch with the Ospreys logo on their shirts, it makes them feel a part of the region.

"We will definitely be buying more kits for our teams, which will ultimately mean even bigger savings and with it, more cash to reinvest into the club."

Rhidian Lewis from Neath Athletic RFC added:

'Kits for Clubs' has been very good for us, we have purchased four full strips so far, three for our senior sides and one for the colts, saving us something like £1,000 all in all. It's always a struggle to keep going so that kind of money makes a huge difference when it comes to running a club like ours. The best thing about the scheme is that it really does help to bring the Ospreys and the clubs closer together as it shows that they care about grassroots rugby across the region and are prepared to back up their words with actions."

Clubs and schools across the region who have so far signed up the scheme are:

Aberavon Greenstars RFCAberavon Quins RFCAbercrave RFCBaglan RFCBlaengarw RFCBryncoch RFCBirchgrove RFCBryncethin RFCBridgend Athletic RFCBridgend Sports RFCBridgend DistrictCimla RFCCwmavon RFCCwmgors RFCCwmtwrch RFCCynffig Comp Sc.Dunvant RFCFall Bay RFCGarw Valley RFCGowerton RFCLlanrhidian Sc.Llangynoid Sc.Loughor RFCMaesteg Welsh RFCMumbles RFCNantymoel RFCNantyfyllon RFCNeath Athletic RFCNewton Primary ScOspreys LadiesOspreys AmateursPenclawdd RFCPenlan RFCPentrepoeth ScPorthcawl RFCPontarddulais RFCPyle RFCTonyrefail ScTaibach RFCSwansea DistrictSketty Sc.Skewen RFCSouth Gower RFCSwansea GirlsSwansea Uplands RFCSwansea SchoolsTondu RFCTonna RFCVardre RFCWaunarlwydd RFCYstradgynlais RFCYstalyfera RFC