Since the Disability framework was put in place, we have seen a huge increase and awareness around disability and inclusive rugby throughout the region.
INCLUSIVE CLUBS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY
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.
MIXED ABILITY RUGBY
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.