Bridgend District product Tom Prydie led a group of players on their visit to the Ospreys Summer Kids Camp at Pencoed College.
The youngest ever Welsh international caused a real stir among the children present, many of whom are hoping to follow in his footsteps in seasons to come and represent the District, and he was joined for the visit by fellow Welsh international Jonathan Thomas, along with James Goode and up and coming back-rower Justin Tipuric.
Ospreys Community Initiatives Officer, Ioan Cunningham, hosted the two-day course, and he said the highlight had undoubtedly been the visit of the players, including local boy Prydie. He said:
“Tom has risen to prominence over the last twelve months, and he is an excellent role model for the children on this particular camp as it was only a matter of months ago that he was still attending a local school in the District, possibly attending with the brothers or sisters of some those here today.
“The children were all excited about meeting the players, particularly Tom, and they were delighted that the four players spent their time chatting to them, signing autographs and sharing rugby tips. Seeing people like Tom here, who they can really relate to because of his age and his personal story, along with Jonathan, James and Justin, can be inspirational for the boys and girls, helping to form lifelong bonds with the Ospreys.”
The two-day course, which was supported by the region’s primary sponsors RWE npower renewables, provided an opportunity for boys and girls aged between U6 to U11 to develop their basic rugby skills in a fun and non-competitive environment, taking part in organised training sessions and skills routines as well as enjoying the Ospreys rugby themed inflatable’s.
18-year old Prydie rose to prominence last season, becoming the youngest player ever to feature in a Heineken Cup game when he made his Ospreys debut against Viadana in December, and he followed that up by becoming Wales’ youngest ever international just three months later. He said:
“It’s not that long ago that I was in their place, a young school boy playing rugby for fun and never dreaming where it may take me, sometimes I still find it hard to take in how far I’ve come over the last year. It’s good to attend events like this in my local community and hopefully, help to inspire the children. Who knows, there may be one or two who were in the group who will follow in my footsteps in a few years time?”