Two students of Cardiff Blues' BTEC Level 3 diploma were recently selected to represent Wales at the Junior Touch Championships in Arnheim, Netherlands.
Taya-George Gibbons was selected to play for Wales’ Mixed Under-18s side, while Finley Davies turned out for the Boys Under-18s team.
Taya tells us about her experience of representing Wales at the international tournament.
“We got the chance to train at the Vale of Glamorgan Hotel and play some matches against club teams before heading out to Netherlands.” said Taya.
“There was also a full squad training day, where our parents were invited to come and watch us train before we had presentation of our jerseys and full squad pictures.”
Wales took four squads out to the tournament, with boys, girls and mixed teams entered in Under-18s competitions as well as a mixed Under-15s team. The tournament was held at the Papendal National Sports Centre.
Taya explains how the Mixed Under 18s team secured a 100% winning record to earn a place in the tournament final.
“The first day of competition went really well. My team managed to beat Scotland and Guernsey in our first two games, before moving on to beat Netherlands, France, Ireland and England on the second day.”
She continues: “On the final day, we won our seventh game, against the Middle East, to qualify for the final.”
The final saw them face familiar opponents in Scotland, with Wales securing a 6-4 win to clinch the title. Meanwhile, Finley and the under-18 men squad finished in fourth place.
Welsh sides won three out of four categories in the tournament.
Cardiff Blues Community Rugby Officer, Dan Jenkins, told us of Cardiff Blues' Community department's pride at seeing both Taya and Finley selected for their respective sides.
“We are extremely proud of both Taya and Finley for being selected in the Wales squads for the Junior Touch Championships, and feel that this is a great recognition for the BTEC course we currently run.”
Enrolments to the Cardiff Blues BTEC course are still being accepted. Find out more by contacting [email protected]