The next generation of rugby stars will be showcasing the positive values at the roots of the game when they kick off tomorrow's action at Eirias with a Half A Game festival at 1pm.
More than 60 children representing four clubs will be in action before RGC 1404 host Bargoed to maintain their Principality Premiership challenge near the top of the table.
Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Mold and Rhyl & District will play in the curtain-raiser matches to celebrate Welsh rugby's offering of guaranteed game time for all ages and abilities.
The festival will follow Welsh rugby's Half A Game recommendation which ensures everybody is given the chance to play a minimum of half a game.
RGC Head Coach, and former Wales and Scarlets player, Mark Jones has welcomed the festival which will also see minis and juniors forming a guard of honour for the main event.
At a time when Welsh rugby has seen an increase at minis and juniors level, the former Wales winger recognises the importance of a positive playing experience to retain players and their families in the game for the long-term.
“The greatest experience we can give young players starting out in the game is one of fun and fair play and these are the values at the heart of Half A Game. The Half A Game festivals are a fantastic platform for minis and juniors to develop their talent and gain valuable life skills associated with team sports through the opportunity of guaranteed game-time regardless of ability or previous experience.”
Minis and juniors rugby is thriving in the north with more than 4,000 children registered, of which, around 1,000 are new to the game. Half A Game festival visitors Mold and Rhyl & District are among seven clubs in the region playing more than 200 children on a weekend.
Jones added: “As a former player, coach and a parent, I firmly believe regular game time can be the deciding factor between keeping our rugby players engaged or losing talent to other sports and activities.
“It's a pleasure to host such thriving minis and juniors sections such as Mold who, according to last season’s figures, had more children playing rugby than any other team in Wales! The RGC 1404 team will be looking forward to the support of the players and their families when we take on Bargoed on Saturday.”
The Principality Premiership team coach reminds us that fostering links with the clubs is a top priority in the north. He said: “Our vision for high-quality, competitive rugby in the north can only flourish if we continue to see talented players coming through the pathway. We are always working hard to create strong links with the clubs in the interest of all north Wales rugby communities.”
The youngsters in action at Eirias join more than 20,000 children across the nation, with 1089 teams now delivering the principles of Half A Game on a weekly basis.
Half A Game launched this summer as part of the WRU's overarching remit for more people, more often, with more enjoyment and more success. Find out more https://www.wrucoachinglocker.co.uk/half-a-game.aspxhttps://www.wrucoachinglocker.co.uk/half-a-game.aspx
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