14 February 2008
Young people in the local area are being deterred from a life of crime with the help of the WRU and the Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly Youth Offending Service.
In a 9-week project, which kicks off on 6th February at St Cenydd School in Caerphilly, young people in the area will be put through their paces in activities which will involve elements of team-building, ball skills, problem solving and discipline. The project also aims to help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour in the area and addresses the issues of social exclusion.
The scheme participants will even have the chance to enjoy a trip to Rodney Parade to watch the Newport Gwent Dragons play, and a stadium tour of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
The scheme, which is being funded by the WRU, Youth Offending Service and Sports Council for Wales hopes to highlight that rugby is a tactile team game, which is perceived as a vital component of the culture and society of Wales, and the very fact that the scheme has a number of attributed benefits for its participants. It is hoped that in turn, rugby can have an extremely positive influence over young people in the local area.
Operational Manager for the Youth Offending Service, Michaela Rogers said, "We are confident that this programme will provide young people involved with our service the opportunity and skills to motivate them towards future activities. Not only will this be of benefit to them but also the wider community as they become involved in opportunities which channel their energy in a positive and productive way."
Caerphilly County Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Social Services, Cllr. Robin Woodyatt says, "This is a great example of the Youth Offending Service's efforts to encourage young people, who have often had a difficult start in life, to achieve a sense of self-worth. Hopefully, this project will create the confidence and motivation needed for them to aspire to a brighter, more fulfilling future."
Over the next nine weeks, the focus will be very much on getting the youngsters interested in the game of rugby, which in itself will hopefully provide them with new life skills that are associated with the game and team ethos. Welsh Rugby Union Community Development Officers will provide the participants with rugby skills sessions covering ball skills, speed and agility as well as leadership and coaching skills.
In addition to this, the youngsters will also be taught lifestyle education that will include advice on nutrition, conditioning and the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
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