OitC host first Disability World Cup

19 schools from across Ospreylia were all in attendance in a day full of rugby. From obstacle courses, kicking, and passing, to touch rugby and tackling our Canterbury Tackleometer, each school represented their allocated country in a jam-packed fun day.

As well as the children attending, 80 Rugby Leaders from NPT Group of Colleges and Bae Baglan School delivered the sessions to help make the day a huge success.

Community Officer, Joe Gage, said: “It’s run really well! When we first came to prepare this event, we knew we wanted to go big and give every child in the region an opportunity to come along and enjoy the day.  As a result, we’ve seen 280 children attend and join in on a fun and engaging day. My personal highlight has to be seeing Ysgol Crug Glas, who are a special school where the majority of its pupils are in wheelchairs, take part in every single one of the activities, which just proves that you can literally do anything when you put your mind to it.”

“As a team, we’ve moved into the space where we can do a lot more to offer opportunities to everyone. We’re always on the lookout for putting on events that cater for everyone and to be inclusive in everything we do.”


WRU Disability rugby co-ordinator, Darren Carew, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to see such a level of engagement at a regional level. Seeing so many special schools involved here, making them feel like part of the region, which they are! Having that buy in from the regions as well as the Union is invaluable and it’s great to see all the smiling faces on the children and seeing them believe that they can do it.”

“The biggest thing from me has been working with all the schools and teachers over the years and seeing the growth that we’ve had. Not only is it about seeing the happiness on the kids’ faces as they run around doing stuff that Welsh kids should be doing, but also having that affirmation from the teachers about the impact we’ve had. The growth from just me turning up to a school with a bag of rugby balls to having huge events like this speaks volumes about all the opportunities we have available for these children.” 

“Obviously, with it being a World Cup year, we pushed really hard to engage the regions with that. Next year will be bigger and better when we roll into the Disability Six Nations with the Ospreys again. It’s about getting that message out there and making sure children know they have opportunities on a Sunday to join their ICC, that there’s wheelchair rugby that they can have access to, and when they’re a bit older that they can play mixed ability rugby. There’s always the option that, if they want to, they can go and play mainstream rugby. We just need to show them that, and they need to believe in themselves that they can do it.”


Since the Disability framework was put in place, we have seen a huge increase and awareness around disability and inclusive rugby throughout the region.


Following the success of our first Inclusive Community Club based at Heronsbridge School, we have now set up another ICC at Llangatwg Comprehensive School, with regular participants enjoying the new opportunities on offer every Sunday. Young people aged between 6 to 16 years old, with a range of disabilities and needs, attend the fun based ICC’s led by engaging community coaches who are in tune with the needs of the young people.


The oldest mixed ability rugby team in the world hails from Ospreylia! Swansea Gladiators is an integrated rugby team of people with disabilities. Members of the team come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of learning disabilities e.g. downs syndrome and cerebral palsy. Some have a sensory or physical disability. The senior team plays full contact rugby with passive scrums.

From the very beginning, the side’s motto has been "Friendship through Sport" and the club have built their success on developing ability where only disability was noted before.

YOGITS is an over 35s touch rugby club based in Ystradgynlais. The club reaches all over Ospreylia, and even attracts those from across the bridge in Llanelli. This inclusive club was established in late 2017 with initially only 5 members. The growth and success of the club now sees over 50 members regularly attending the club.

They offer a weekly opportunity for members to continue playing rugby in an enjoyable manner to prove that age is no barrier.

Members have welcomed the physical and mental health benefits that participative touch rugby has provided. Proving that it’s about more than rugby, new friendships have been made, weekly meet ups at the club have provided an excellent sense of belonging and community that the sport brings.



A key element of the Disability Rugby strategy was to ensure the whole game adopts a more inclusive approach. 103 hub officers, WRU and teaching staff have already completed a level of inclusion training to enable this to become a reality.

The 90 full-time rugby hub officers at schools and colleges around Wales are now are now offering all pupils the chance to take part in rugby opportunities including those within SEN groups, units and schools.