Porthcawl RFC welcomed Ian Evans and Andrew Bishop to the club for a special development session last week.
The event was hosted in conjunction with the Ospreys Community Development team, aiming to increase player numbers at U12 and U13 levels. The session followed on from some work done in Porthcawl Comprehensive School by Bridgend District Player Development Officer Tom Cole to advertise the event, with a number of new faces being attracted to attend the session at the club.
The session looked at developing player skills, and with the new aspects of the game being introduced to players at that age it was a massive benefit to have two senior Ospreys and Wales internationals to lead the coaching, Bishop delivering the tactical aspect of defensive play with Evans focusing on to the lineout.
Speaking after the event, Evans said:
"It's always very satisfying to get your hands dirty in sessions like this, working with young kids who really want to learn, and to develop as rugby players. You could see their enthusiasm, and to be able to help one of our clubs to attract new players, and to become stronger, is brilliant. Events like this are a great way for us as players to give something back to our community clubs."
WRU/Ospreys Regional Development Manager Ben Rose,added:
"As always, the boys were fantastic at getting out there and working with young Ospreylians who look up to them as heroes. To be able to learn from experienced Ospreys players like Andrew and Ian is an incredible experience for the children, and certainly helps to not only attract new players to the club where they develop a passion for rugby, it also rewards the players already at the club.
"The players themselves also find these sessions very fulfilling as they can remember when they were young boys still learning the game, and how they would look up to the top players at the time. To pick up tips off the likes of Andrew and Ian is something that these young members of Porthcawl RFC will never forget, and will bring them closer to the Ospreys."
Porthcawl are one of the many clubs in the region who have signed up to the new Club Support Scheme launched in August by the Ospreys with the aim of seeing the Community Development team working even closer with local rugby clubs.
Designed to build on the outstanding work already being carried out by the community team the new scheme will reward pro-active clubs in a number of ways, with the development team also working closely with local schools to drive new players towards the club rugby set-up.
Since its launch in August, almost two-thirds of the clubs in Ospreylia have already committed to the scheme, providing Ben Rose with details of the best club contacts at each age-grade level.
Registered clubs will benefit 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.