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Pembrokeshire Youngsters experience ‘Fit, Fed, Fun’ camps

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THE Welsh Rugby Union is setting new standards within world sport with its recently launched rugby-themed “Fit, Fed, Fun” camps to support children and families throughout Wales during the school holidays.

This new initiative is being run in partnership with WE Soda, the world’s largest producer of natural soda ash which is an essential ingredient used in the manufacture of many everyday sustainable products such as glass, detergents and electric vehicle batteries.

The WRU “Fit, Fed, Fun” camps are free to attend and are running throughout Wales this summer during the school holidays, feeding thousands of children in some of the nation’s most under-resourced areas.

The camps are open to all children, but will specifically target children who will benefit from free meals as well as the fun activities on offer.

The programme will be gradually expanded over the next three years and has the objective of reaching all areas of Wales by 2025, providing around 600 camps each year. In this first year, the camps are already on target to support more than 8,000 children across 165 camps already planned in Pembrokeshire, Bridgend, Newport, Conwy, Powys, Gwynedd, and the South Wales valleys.

Feeding the children a hearty breakfast and lunch is a key focus of the camps, with rugby coaching and fun activities for children of all ages and abilities hosted by experienced WRU-trained staff. As part of the programme, the children will also learn about the benefits of looking after their community and the environment.

The initiative is only able to work on such a large scale due to close collaboration with local authorities and regional community foundations and with funding provided by WE Soda, the community partner of the WRU.

Princes Gate Mineral Water, the official water supplier to Welsh rugby, are providing natural mineral water and all food at the camps is sourced locally.

“Our first priority is to ensure no child attending goes hungry or thirsty,” said WRU community director Geraint John.

“From our experience with the first camps trialled this Easter, we noticed some children were arriving hungry and so we have now introduced a hearty breakfast to start the day. Feeding the children is very important to us and we have worked hard to provide quality healthy meals that all the children enjoy.

“The children will learn about looking after their community and the environment, with a focus on recycling and reducing waste.

“And of course there is a strong rugby element too.”

The camps are aiming to reach a more diverse group of children than ever before, groups which rugby may not have previously touched.

Learning whilst having fun is also a key element of the programme.

“The response to WRU “Fit, Fed, Fun” has been hugely successful so far and we could fill the places on our camps many times over, but our primary ambition is to provide support to those who need it most,” said John.

The “Fit, Fed, Fun” camps will be run at rugby clubs, sports centres, schools and local authority venues across Wales, with each event specifically targeting those children and groups who will most benefit from the programme.

The camps run alongside a separate provision for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) being delivered as part of the WRU’s broader community rugby initiatives and inclusion strategy which forms a key part of the WRU ‘Jersey for All’ campaign to make rugby more accessible for all. This initiative is also funded and supported by WE Soda.

John added: “We talk about there being a ‘Jersey for All’ in Welsh rugby and this programme is about making that statement a reality for children of all abilities across our nation, ensuring that the opportunity to get involved with the game really is there for everybody.

“We are hugely grateful to WE Soda in particular for their support and partnership in this incredibly important initiative. I would also like to expressly thank our regional community foundations for their continued help and support in in our delivering this programme.”

WE Soda, headquartered in the UK, became the community partner of the WRU in March 2022. Commenting on the various community initiatives being supported by WE Soda, Alasdair Warren, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are providing fun rugby-based activity camps and community support to some of the most underrepresented groups in Wales.

“Welsh rugby’s values are a perfect fit for our business and together we are using rugby as the vehicle to make positive social change in Wales.

“This is much more than just a participation initiative, it’s about getting involved and really supporting the community. Alongside important educational messaging about environmental responsibility, recycling and waste reduction, we are delighted to be involved in an initiative which is having such a directly positive impact on the lives of children throughout the country.

“This programme puts food directly into the mouths of the children who need it most, aiming to ensure that no child goes hungry during the school holidays.”

Sport

Narberth hosts Under 8s Rugby festival

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ON a cold Sunday morning (Sept 25) with temperatures barely above 10 degrees and with occasional rain and drizzle to dampen things down, a lively bunch of parents and coaches were entertained by youngsters learning and honing their rugby skills at the Lewis Lloyd ground which is the home of Narberth rugby.

It was a Lovely festival at home for the U8s of Narberth RFC and the young Otters won all their games:

Narberth 6 Llangwm 2
Tries from: 

Joe H x2
Danny E x1
Frankie P x2
Morgan R x1

Narberth 5 St Davids 2
Tries:

Noah L x1
Joe H x2
Danny E x2

Narberth 5 Pembroke 1
Tries:

Noah L x 2
Frankie P x 2
Molly J x1

Narberth 6 Milford 1
Tries:

Noah L x1
Jac M x1
Joe H x 1
Danny E x 2
Arthur P x 1

All the young players, boys and girls in the mixed team, were very pleased to be sporting their new kit, sponsored by RTS Lime Conservation and Tlysau’r Mor.

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Sport

Narberth Athletic seal big win over Emlyn

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THIS was a game of two halves, with Narberth playing at home on a very cold Saturday (Sept 24).

The visitors caused Narberth all sorts of problems at the breakdown in a frustrating first half of 40 minutes, the home team conceded 14 penalties but scored one try through Ryan Scourfield. Half time score 7-3.

After a good half time team talk from coaches Matt Davies and James Merriman, Narberth came out in the second half with a bit more enthusiasm and started to play at their renowned fast-running tempo creating some quick ball for the backs to work off, soon the tries started to come, scoring five tries in a purple ten-minute patch through players Ryan Scourfield, Shane Rossiter, Jordie James and Will (Pop) Davies.

During the second half, with Ryan Scourfield going over for his hat trick, two more tries followed from outside centre Llew Jones and Owain Hughes finishing off a superb display of running rugby.

Llew Jones moves the ball on

Shane Rossiter added four conversions to take the tally over 50 points. The running and linking play of the Narberth backs outclassed the visitors who never managed to breakdown the Narberth defence so they were unable to score any tries throughout the game.

Man of the match was awarded to flanker No 6 Jack Tucker on his first game back after a spell in Tenby.

A large crowd turned out to watch the squad and were well entertained. They enjoyed a social gathering in the clubhouse afterwards to finish the day off.

Sadly, one of the substitutes of the Newcastle Emlyn team, No. 6 Flanker Shaun Hawkins, suffered a leg and groin injury five minutes into the second half so he was taken to Withybush Hospital for a review. Narberth RFC wish him a speedy recovery.

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Sport

Narberth hold on for thrilling win over Bedwas

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NARBERTH travelled to Bedwas on Saturday (Sept 24) and came away with an excellent win at a ground where they hadn’t won for many years.

The young Otters team started well and within minutes a break from the base of a Narberth scrum led to centre Ilan Phillips sprinting in near the posts for a try which was converted by fly half Ianto Griffiths (0-7).

Shortly afterwards swift passing of the ball along the Narberth back line resulted in wing Josh Davies scoring in the corner. The try went unconverted (0-12).

Bedwas got themselves back into the game when the Bedwas scrum half took a quick penalty five metres from the Narberth line and scored under the posts. The Bedwas fly half converted to make the score 7-12.

Both teams attempted to run the ball at every opportunity but defences held firm until the ball unexpectedly popped out of the back of the Bedwas scrum and flanker Tom Powell was on hand to receive a pass and charge downfield. He raced a full 50 yards with no-one able to catch him until he reached the Bedwas try line and scored under the posts. Griffiths converted (7-19).

Then just before the break Bedwas were guilty of holding onto the ball on the ground and Griffiths kicked the penalty to make the half time score 7-22.

In the second half Bedwas came out far more determined and the Otters were forced to defend for long periods close to their try line. Eventually the Bedwas openside flanker raced over to score in the corner. The conversion attempt failed (12-22).

Within minutes Bedwas had scored again when from a lineout on the Narberth 5 metre line a rolling maul enabled the Bedwas hooker to score a try wide out and the conversion attempt was successful (19-22).

The Otters were now under constant pressure and the home crowd were jubilant when a further try was scored in the corner by the Bedwas right wing which was again converted to put the home team in the lead for the first time in the match by 26 points to 22.

However Narberth refused to give up and with ten minutes remaining they managed to score their fourth try when Josh Davies beat his man along the left touchline and passed inside to his supporting scrum half Lewys Gibby who scored the winning try wide out. The conversion attempt failed but the Otters held out for the remaining minutes to win an exciting and enthralling match 26-27.

After the match coach Sean Gale said: “I’m very pleased to come away with a win. We had 7 players in the squad today who were under 23 years of age and as a coaching team we feel we are doing our best to develop the young players in the area which augurs well for the future of the Club.”

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