North Wales children to enjoy rugby festival

After going head to head with Sale Sharks at Parc Eirias on Monday evening, the Ospreys will turn their hand to coaching children the following morning at a special community event.

The region is sending an ‘A’ team to the Colwyn Bay home of RGC 1404 for the game as part of a two-day rugby festival supported by Oil4Wales and RWE Innogy UK, along with the Welsh Rugby Union and Conwy County Borough Council.

On Tuesday, pupils from Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan Comprehensive School along with its feeder primary schools Ysgol Glan Morfa & Ysgol Sant Elfod will enjoy a morning of rugby activity led by Tim Hoare, WRU Coach Development Manager for North Wales, assisted by Ospreys ‘A’ team coach, Dan Griffiths, and the players.

Speaking about the event, Griffiths said:

“The game on Monday night is an important date for the boys involved. The fixture will provide game time for those just outside the 23 at the moment as well as an opportunity for some of the youngsters in the group to show what they can do, but Tuesday morning is just as important for us.

“It’s my first time in North Wales for the Ospreys but the feedback I get about the area is that we have had a great response when up there for previous festivals. I’d expect the same response this week.

“With boys like Tom and Morgan Williams involved, who have come through the RGC pathway, along with Olly Cracknell who played for RGC last season, the children involved on Tuesday will be able to learn from some role models that they can aspire to emulate in years to come.”

Rupert Moon, General Manager, RGC added:

“We are delighted to be welcoming the Ospreys to Parc Eirias for this fixture on Monday night, providing another opportunity for rugby supporters in North Wales to watch top class action live.

“The visit will also provide a fantastic opportunity for children in the area to be coached by professional players and coaches  on the Tuesday morning, something which will be the highlight of the two days for those involved.”

Without the support of commercial partners such as Oil4Wales and RWE Innogy, the event in Colwyn Bay wouldn’t be able to go ahead.

Colin Owens, managing director of Oil 4 Wales, said:

“At Oil 4 Wales, we’re passionate about Wales and we’re passionate about our national sport rugby so we’re really supportive of any initiatives that unite the two.

“Our slogan is ‘working with the community, for the community’ so this initiative in partnership with the Ospreys really demonstrates how we bring this ethos to life.

“With there being so many rugby fans locally, school visits like these are a great way for youngsters to meet their rugby idols and practice their skills.”

RWE Innogy UK has operated hydro schemes and onshore and offshore wind farms in North Wales for decades, creating and sustaining local jobs and investing millions of pounds into the economy in order to make a positive difference locally.

Ospreys players have helped build that relationship, having worked on initiatives with RWE, including a junior rugby festival and 7s tournament in Rhyl, events including the launch of the £690,000 Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Tourism Fund and, in 2014, Apprenticeship Awards at Llandrillo College, and the launch of the highly successful Ospreys Schools Programme.

RWE Innogy UK’s Head of Hydro, Vince Read, said:

“During our many decades of hydro and wind power operations in North Wales, we’ve supported communities and organisations across the entire area, all as a direct result of the operation of our renewable energy projects.

“Through our long term relationship with Ospreys, we’ve been able to grow that engagement in new ways across North Wales, and so it’s great to see Ospreys up here with us once again, to continue building even stronger links with communities for the future.”