With school children across the region enjoying the Easter Holiday's the Ospreys Kids Camps have once again been running, with hundreds of young rugby fans joining in the fun.
The Ospreys are hosting four camps during the school holidays in conjunction with sponsors RWE npower renewables, one at Bridgend College and a further three at Llandarcy Academy of Sport.
Boys and girls aged between six and 11 have been enjoying the opportunity to experience first class coaching from the Ospreys Community Rugby Development department in a relaxed environment where the emphasis is on fun, learning new rugby skills alongside their friends and getting to know other young Ospreys fans at the same time. For many of those taking part, it is their first ever experience of rugby coaching and, it is hoped, will help to ignite a lifelong passion for the sport.
Ospreys players have also taken time out from preparing for Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Biarritz to call in to the camps and meet some of the children taking part, posing for photos and signing autographs.
Running the camps is Ospreys Community Initiatives Officer Ioan Cunningham, and he said:
"It's always good to see how eagerly anticipated these camps are with young Ospreylians, and this Easter it's no different. Once again, we've got plenty of children enjoying rugby in an Ospreys environment, and it's particularly pleasing to see so many new faces at the camps. The player development pathway is a long one, and while these camps are about discovering the game and having fun, they can form the first step in the pathway as they provide the first real opportunity for Ospreys Development Officers to work with these children and help then learn new skills, so they have a serious side.
"Many of the children who attend these camps don't get the opportunity to play at school or with a club, so this is chance for them to pick up a rugby ball and learn the game. Development from within is a key element of the long term vision for the region, which is why these camps are so important. While for most of those involved, rugby will always be about fun and enjoyment, which is how it should be, there will always be some with the potential to go on and become future Ospreys, so while the emphasis is, and will always be, about enjoyment, activities are tailored to ensure that any individuals displaying the right characteristics will be identified by our team of Development Officers.
"Ultimately though, we want participants to have fun, and to develop a lifelong passion for the Ospreys. We want every child in our region to feel that they can become an Osprey, be it a player, coach, administrator as a fan, we believe strongly that there is a role for everybody to play in the Ospreys’ long term success."