The Ospreys have appointed Tom Sloane to the role of Community Rugby Officer as the region looks to strengthen its ties with rugby clubs and schools across the community.
Already a familiar figure in the region, Sloane’s appointment sees him going full circle as he rejoins the Ospreys where he began his career in 2007 as a Community Coach whilst studying at UWIC.
He then moved into the WRU’s community development team based at Llandarcy as a Participation Officer, helping to spread the rugby gospel across Ospreylia and working closely with regional staff.
Following the Union’s restructuring of their community operations in 2014 he was appointed Schools Hub Officer at Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive School in Swansea.
With the community rugby landscape changing, allowing the Ospreys to place more of a focus on grass roots rugby, the appointment of Sloane is an important one that will enable the organisation to truly live its vision of being at the heart of the local community.
Welcoming Sloane to his new post Andrew Hore, Ospreys Chief Executive, said:
“The appointment of Tom as our first Community Rugby Officer is an important step forward for us as an organisation. With the Rugby Services Agreement now enabling us to become more involved with the game at grass roots level, it is a great opportunity for us to get involved in the many communities across the region.
“Tom is a well known and well respected figure in the community game with a passion for the development of young talent. He is a wonderful role model for anyone with an interest in rugby and I know that he is excited about the challenge ahead.
“As an organisation we have ambitious plans to increase our presence in the community and Tom will drive that activity, working with clubs and schools to grow the game across the region and increase the level of engagement that youngsters have with the Ospreys.
“Our vision is clear. We want to achieve sustainable success on and off the field, and we can do that in various different ways. Development from within is at the heart of it, building a positive legacy, through the Ospreys supporting Ospreylia and Ospreylia supporting the Ospreys.
“Tom can be the missing link to help bring the region and the community closer together, helping us to achieve that vision. It’s a big role and he is just one person, but he has the ambition and the desire to really make a difference in the community and if he is successful then he can grow his team over time.”
A level three qualified coach, 25-year old Sloane will continue to combine his coaching career with his ‘B’ group status as a prop, training daily at Llandarcy, after making his regional debut against Gloucester in the LV= Cup earlier this season.
“This is a great opportunity for me to build on the work already done in the community, taking it on to another level. We’re already putting in place an exciting and busy calendar of summer community events including beach rugby festivals and an expanded range of rugby camps suitable for all ages and abilities.
“That’s just the start though. There is huge potential for us to really make a difference in the communities across the region, be it working with mini and junior sections of the many local rugby clubs, or helping to grow the well established and successful schools programme that is already in place at the Ospreys.
“It’s going to be a busy time but I can’t wait to really get stuck in to the role.”