The junior section of one Swansea rugby club had had a boost in player numbers thanks to an initiative run in conjunction with the Ospreys Community Development team.
As part of a drive to increase the number of youngsters in the region playing the game, Ben Rose, Ospreys Player Development Officer for Swansea, has been leading a player recruitment campaign with local clubs that has seen him visiting schools across the city to deliver a short introduction to rugby session to whet the youngsters appetites, before directing any interested children along to special development evenings hosted at clubs local to the schools in question.
One such drive has seen South Gower RFC recruiting an additional five players for their U15’s team, bolstering their squad numbers, after a development evening that was attended by Ospreys Alun Wyn Jones and James Goode, who took a full part in the session.
Ian Smith from South Gower RFC said the drive had been a real success:
“On behalf of South Gower RFC and our U15's I would like to go on record to offer a big thank you to Ben Rose & the Ospreys.
“The promotion of the event has resulted in us picking up five players in recent weeks which has bolstered our numbers to a sustainable level for the forthcoming season which is fantastic news. James and Alun Wyn's presence really added value through their attention to detail coaching methods and sharing of the "Ospreys way" with our squad.
“The South Gower boys (and coaches) have come away, more appreciative of the attention to detail required in the game as coached by Alun Wyn and James.All in all a great night for us, with individual and team skills enhanced and a 30 per cent increase on our player base.”
Ben Rose added:
“At the Ospreys we are committed to broadening our player base, and the way to do that is to introduce more children to the game via organised introductory sessions at their school and then signposting anyone who shows an interest in the game to their local clubs.
“South Gower’s U15 set-up now has more depth thanks to this recruitment exercise which is fantastic news for everybody concerned. We are well aware of the difficulties clubs face in recruiting young players these days when they have so many more options for things to do in their free time, but exercises like this clearly show that the more children we are able to reach, the greater effect it will have on playing numbers in the region.
“We are delighted to be able to assist one of our local clubs in this way. The more people we are able to encourage to play the game, the stronger that rugby will be as a whole in Ospreylia.”