Young rugby players from more than 30 clubs in the region will have met an Ospreys player at their end of season awards nights by the end of May.
The flagship events at community clubs are key dates in the rugby calendar, and the commitment of everybody involved with the region to make them a success has seen players heading to all corners of Ospreylia to meet players, pose for photos, and hand over hard earned awards to the children.
Despite the premature end to the season, with the Ospreys failing to make the play-offs, the commitment to attending the evenings has continued with the players themselves giving up their own time during their only period of leave in the entire year to ensure as many clubs as possible get at least one visit from a player.
This comes after all clubs in the region were contacted early in April to advise of potential dates where the region would be unable to supply players because of holiday periods based on when the final game of the season was played, and we are delighted that wherever possible clubs took this information into account when planning their event.
To date, the Ospreys have been able to commit to an appearance at all bar one club who requested a player through the correct channels, as it clashed directly with an Ospreys game - however, arrangements will be made for an alternative appearance once the players report back for pre-season.
Andrew Hore, Ospreys Chief Executive, said:
“We fully understand and appreciate how important to the community clubs across the region these end of season presentation events are, which is why we made a commitment to attend as many as we possibly could.
“The uncertainty around the end of season dates and the disappointment at missing the play-offs always causes some logistical issues, as the players go on leave just days after the final match. In terms of player welfare it is important that, like any individual in the working world, they get time off work for rest and recuperation and in most cases, fitness permitting, this is the only time off that they get over a 12 months period.
“However, with a number of outstanding requests in place beyond May 10th and the last game of the scheduled season, the players themselves have taken it upon themselves to ensure that clubs didn’t miss out. We are delighted to be able to confirm that because of that we have been able to commit to appearing at least once at each of the clubs who have their events pencilled in during May. The players have all been in the position of the children at the clubs, young hopefuls excited to meet their heroes at their local club, and they wanted to make sure that the next generation are able to enjoy the same memories.
“I’d like to thank the clubs for their understanding of our position in terms of end of season appearances and ensuring the majority of events were arranged ahead of May 10th, and on behalf of Ospreys Rugby, I’d like to express our gratitude to those players who will be out and about at community clubs over the coming weeks during their leave period.”