Ospreys in the Community's Lloyd Churchouse has won the inaugural United Rugby Championship’s ‘Big Picture Project’ and has arrived in Cape Town to be the behind-the-scenes photographer at this weekend’s Grand Final.
The ‘Big Picture Project’ is a photography course that is part of United Rugby Championship’s Take on Tomorrow programme and engaged with young people aged 18-25 across the league’s participating territories to explore the themes of diversity, unity and respect.
Run by Trust Impact and led by Tom Martin, an award-winning photographer who has worked with UNICEF, participants attended a number of virtual workshops to cover the story-telling principals of photography and use the project’s themes to learn about each other’s communities.
The participants all submitted imagery in the form of photo stories leading to Lloyd Churchouse (Instagram: @lloydchurchousecreative) earning the role as a special behind-the-scenes photographer at the game and to capture moments of unity and respect beyond the field of play.
Lloyd joined the OitC team back in November 2021 as social media officer and videographer for the team under the Kickstart Scheme.
To enable accessibility participants (a mix of men and women from South Africa, Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland and the Netherlands) did not need to have previous photography experience and were encouraged to use standard mobile phones for shooting. Topics explored included mental health, gender empowerment, disability, dementia and the positive role of clubs and volunteers in their communities.
Martin Anayi, CEO, United Rugby Championship: “In developing the United Rugby Championship, it was important that league celebrate the diversity that resides in its teams, fans and communities. Equally the league and sport of rugby has the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of those who are spread across our territories.
“This was the essence of The Big Picture Project and it has been a terrific success, and a great first step for our Take on Tomorrow programme. We’re thrilled to have Lloyd with us in Cape Town for the first-ever URC Grand Final and we can’t wait to see the results of his efforts.”
The winning photo story by Lloyd Churchouse featured on the ‘Yogits’ touch rugby team from Ystradgynlais in West Wales.
Describing his photo story, Lloyd wrote: “Rugby runs deep in the veins of Welsh culture. For rugby players, father time & injuries can bring the love of playing rugby to an abrupt end. This is the case for those involved in Yogits, an abbreviation for Ystradgynlais Old Gits.
“They are an inclusive over 35s touch rugby team based in the Ospreys region, a group who won’t follow the norm and stop playing. Instead, they just take it down a notch. Through playing and socials, Yogits fills the void and reinstates the feeling of belonging which is missed when rugby out runs you. Yogits now have over 50 registered players including veterans and mental health sufferers, who can get out and stay active in a group.
"Yogits helps both your mental and physical health. There’s no pressure, it’s just throwing a ball around and having a laugh. Whether it is everyday stresses from jobs, injuries and mental health it is all forgotten about when the Yogits community comes together.”