The Rugby League World Cup 2013 is set to leave a lasting legacy for the sport’s development in North Wales. More and more schools are now embracing the sport as Wrexham prepares to host two matches in this Autumn’s World Cup.
Local Community Rugby League Coach Allen Jones has been working closely with both Wrexham and Flintshire Council, Glyndwr University and Wales Rugby League to deliver sessions in both primary and secondary schools across the region.
Mr Jones said: “The partnership approach is working well. The response from all the schools we’ve been to so far has been second to none. The buy in from all of the pupils, both primary and secondary, boys as well as girls has been amazing and it is encouraging to see there is a real appetite to develop Rugby League across North Wales. Schools are now organising their own competitive fixtures and it has been great to see pupils to have a real go at the game and enjoy the whole experience.”
“There is definitely excitement building ahead of the Rugby League World Cup 2013 coming to the region. The trophy recently visited schools across Wrexham and the response was tremendous. With a world-class sporting event on our doorstep hopefully we will see more and more young people take an interest in the sport and leave a lasting legacy.” and it was so good to see the pupils have a real go at the game and enjoy the experience to boot”.
The past few weeks have been especially busy with a number of festivals and friendly games taking place.
Ysgol Mold Alun recently entertained the Maelor School Penley and Darland High School hosted a fixture against St Josephs High School. Primary schools have also been in action as well with Ysgol Glanrafon hosting their own mini festival with Ysgol Terrig, Ysgol Croes Atti and Ysgol Gwenffrwd taking part.
Jones added: “What pleased me so much about this festival is that both boys and girls took part and I have been thrilled at how enthusiastic the girls have been at primary school level. With more secondary school fixtures already planned plus further primary schools festivals in both Wrexham and Flintshire in April and May, the game does appear to be growing some real roots.”
“The Sports Development teams at Wrexham and Flintshire have been really positive and so helpful and the response from teachers and pupils has been hugely enthusiastic.”
As well as a busy schools programme the Community game is also growing quickly with all five North Wales Conference Clubs now in pre-season training and also opening up junior sections. Recently a combined North Wales Conference Club U16s team beat an established North West Counties team in only their second ever run out.
Wrexham’s famous Racecourse Ground will play host two matches at the Rugby League World Cup.
On Sunday November 3rd, co-hosts Wales will take on World Cp newcomers USA while on Saturday November 16, the historic stadium will host a quarter final match between the Winners of Group A and Group D.
(Pictured: Girls squad at Glanrafon School.)