HRH The Earl of Wessex visited the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday to celebrate Ospreys in the Community becoming the first Welsh rugby organisation to qualify as a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) L.O.
Last nightrepresentatives from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Ospreys in the Community, Ospreys Rugby and esteemed guests from across the region were joined at the Liberty Stadium by His Royal Highness, who presented The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Licensed Organisation plaque to Ospreys in the Community.
Speaking at the event Alun Wyn Jones, himself a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holder, remarked on how the DofE had helped him:
“The DofE was a great way for me to develop the skills I use within the rugby environment everyday, such as communication and team work. The Award is challenging but it’s also a lot of fun and very rewarding. I’m delighted that Ospreys in the Community are now qualified to provide the DofE to young people across the region and look forward to seeing the participants taking part, and achieving their Awards in the coming months and years.”
For young people aged 14 – 24 the DofE aims, amongst other things, to provide participants with leadership skills, confidence and the ability to work in a team. There are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and to achieve a DofE Award young people have to learn a new skill, or improve a current one, undertake voluntary work, take part in physical activity and complete an expedition.
The OitC team, who have completed their training to be able to run the DofE, will start a pilot scheme this month with young Ospreys players, before rolling it out across the region as Dorian Evans, Ospreys in the Community Employability Co-ordinator, explains:
“We’re looking forward to getting the DofE process underway with our young players and seeing the positive impact it will no doubt have on them, and their lives both as rugby players and young people.
“We will then start to roll it out across the region to schools and clubs, with a particular focus through the TACKLE project, to involve children who may not take part through other avenues.
“As Ospreys in the Community, our principle aim is to use the power of sport to empower people within Ospreylia to make positive life choices and we aim to improve lives by through our four Strategic Themes; Education, Health, Sport, and Inclusion. These are a perfect fit with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and through running the programme we look forward to helping young people across the region make a strong start to their life journeys.”
Stephanie Price, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Wales Director said:
“We are delighted that HRH The Earl of Wessex joined us to celebrate the new partnership between the DofE and Ospreys in the Community, as the Foundation launches its first cohort of DofE participants.
“We also wanted to use the event to showcase to local employers the impact that the DofE can have on developing young people, helping them to become effective communicators, with resilience and compassion.”
Steve Dalton, OBE, Managing Director of Sony UK Technology based in Pencoed spoke about the synergy between the skills and attributes valued by employers and those developed by taking part in the DofE, with a ‘can do’ attitude being top of the list.
“Alun Wyn Jones, himself a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holder, has seen the benefits of doing his DofE on and off the rugby pitch and we hope to continue to be able to reach out to even more young people within the Ospreys’ community and the rest of Wales.”