More than 200 secondary school children were treated to an open training session as Cardiff Blues descended on Jenner Park in Barry last week.
As preparations intensified ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 victory over the Dragons, Wales’ Capital Region invited year seven students from secondary schools across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to watch them train.
It was the first of three sessions around the region which have been planned for this season.
Cardiff Blues head coach John Mulvihill said: “It’s awesome to be here in Barry, interacting with the community. To see so many school kids here is fantastic and hopefully we have inspired them.
“Our open training session was a bit of team organisation, looking at some of the things that didn’t go so well last week and then we will focus on the Dragons later in the week.
“Afterwards the boys were meeting the children. signing autographs and taking photos. It’s great to come somewhere different to train like Jenner Park and we’re going to take this around the region and have another two planned.”
One of the Vale of Glamorgan schools in attendance was the new Pencoedtre High School, with players from their inaugural rugby team in attendance.
And PE teacher Alun Jones was thrilled to take his aspiring players to watch their home region just down the road.
He said: “It’s fantastic to have Cardiff Blues here and is a great experience for the boys.
“We’re obviously a brand new school on the old girls site and are trying to build the rugby team up from year seven.
“It’s been great seeing the Cardiff Blues players up close to watch them training where we can pick up tips and drills we can bring into our own training and games.”
Cardiff Blues wing and USA Rugby captain Blaine Scully added: “Hopefully we have some future Blues here.
“It builds a connection between us, the region, and our fan base. Nothing is more important than trying to inspire one kid to be the best they can be and hopefully a rugby player. That’s one of the special parts of being a rugby player – the ability to impact someone’s life in a positive way.”
Cardiff Blues return to the Arms Park on Sunday, October 21, when they face Glasgow Warriors in the Heineken Champions Cup.