Ospreys community team targeting new players

The Ospreys Community Development team are hosting a club development night at Alltwen RFC this week, aimed at increasing the number of children playing rugby at their local club.

In preparation for the development night, community coaches have been visiting primary schools in Alltwen’s catchment area to offer an introduction to rugby session, encouraging them to come along to the club where they can train with Ospreys players Tom Smith and Hanno Dirksen, as well as meeting the coaches and players at the club.

Pupils from Alltwen, Rhos and Pontardawe Primary schools have already taken part in sessions overseen by Player Development Officer Andrew Thomas, with 20 children confirmed for the evening, who will get a taste of training with Alltwen’s U11 team.

The club development night’s are a popular way of recruiting new players to a club and a prime example of the way in which the Community team is rewarding those clubs who work with them, signing up to the club support scheme works.

Launched by the Community Development team at the region at the start of this season with the aim of allowing them to work even closer with local rugby clubs for the good of rugby in the region at all levels and designed to build on the outstanding work already being carried out by the community team, the club support scheme rewards pro-active clubs in a number of ways.

Since its launch last August more than two-thirds of the region’s clubs have committed to the scheme and are already benefiting from a number of new initiatives aimed at supporting club operations, driving player recruitment and retention, and developing club coaches to help improve playing standards throughout the region.

WRU/Ospreys Regional Development Manager Ben Rose, said that night’s like the one being hosted at Alltwen RFC will help to create stronger rugby depth in Ospreylia:

"Alltwen is a small community which like many has problems recruiting new players, so to be able to host a development night at the club that has attracted 20 players at U11 is a clear indication that the club support scheme works.

"We want to ensure that every club in the region has the tools and support to grow. They are the lifeblood of the Ospreys and it is essential that we do all we can to help them develop and to grow the game throughout Ospreylia. Without a strong and vibrant club rugby scene, there is no future for the Ospreys.

"Development from within is our ethos, and it is what we are 100 per cent committed to doing, whether we are talking about developing players for Alltwen RFC U11’s, Ospreys U16’s players for the regional age-grade championship, coaches for the senior squad or players for the national team.

"To ensure sustainability we need to continue developing from within and the club support scheme is central to this."