The focus of Blues community rugby development is centred upon the pro-active junior sections of clubs throughout each of the unitary authorities that make up the region.
The junior section at Rhiwbina in Cardiff, is proud to have the title of largest club junior section in Wales, but it is not just sheer size that stands them and half a dozen other clubs apart from the rest. Sport.Cardiff Development Officer Gruff Rees works constantly with schools and clubs and is quick to commend the efforts of coaches who bring on the next generation of young stars.
Rhiwbina are one of a number of clubs, in Cardiff alone, that work tirelessly with their young players to nurture talent with good coaching and instil the right attitude. Testimony to this is Nick Macleod and James Goode, two fine examples of old boys, who have gone onto play for Cardiff and the Blues.
There are about half a dozen clubs in Cardiff and the Vale that can field teams at every age grade level, and once again this season with their depth of players, Rhiwbina are one of these select few.
As the season draws to a close Cath Brobin, Rhiwbina Junior Secretary, is pleased to look back on another year that has included numerous successes for each of their teams.
The matrix fixtures have seen our squads win the majority of their games this season and along with district tournaments the mini section has attended and won tournaments at a number of age groups in Chippenham and Luctonians in the last fortnight, whilst the Under 13's and 14's recently headed west for a rugby festival in Llanelli.
Indeed, the trip to Llanelli saw a return to form for Bob Kerrs Under 13s. Following two defeats on the trot in March, the under 13s are back to winning ways and future opponents should beware as and the last run of wins stretched 104 games, attracting interest from local press, national radio and television!
In the Spring the under 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s and 12s all enjoyed a tour to Torquay, for a mini tournament which once again saw the trophy cabinet at the club over flowing and the under 15s will be hoping to replicate the success with their forthcoming trip to Holland at the end of April.
It was at the recent District Under-9 festival in St Albans that the Rhiwbina juniors truly showed their character and sportsmanship. A mix-up with the tournament knock out rules led to confusion in the latter stages and unfortunately Rhiwbina missed out on a place in the prestigious semi finals of the tournament. Despite such circumstances, the obvious disappointment of failing to progress was greeted by maturity from the young players and no complaints from the coach, team or parents present, made a difficult situation pass without incident.
Following this act of sportsmanship the under 9s squad were sent complimentary tickets to enjoy an enjoyable night out at the Arms Park for the Blues crucial home clash with the Borders last Friday. Once again the boys made their parents proud by cheering the Blues on to victory and a Heineken Cup play off at the end of May in Italy.
As well as raising money to play the tours ad away trips, there is a big effort as a mini and junior section to raise money to help with kit, coaching, facilities and we do this by encouraging all age groups to organise some sort of event each season. However it is the generosity of parents that we really rely on. The coaches and managers work very hard to keep up the high standards of rugby that we have set ourselves, but without the support of the parents the job would be that much harder.
The link between the Junior and Senior sections has been strengthened as last season's Colts now play at senior level. Partly because of this, Rhiwbina are pleased to have organised a joint event between the junior and senior sections, to help raise a substantial amount of money through an auction.
We have booked the city hall on 30th May for a "Ball" with guest Owen Money and Big Macs soul band, something we are definitely looking forward too.
Congratulations are indeed due to Rhiwbina on attracting such a wide playing base and on another successful season. For more information contact Cath Brobin on 07905852266 or leave a message at the club on 20693 583.