The new initiative, launched in the build up to next month's Women's Six Nations Championships, has received support from the Assembly Government and Sports Minister Jenny Randerson said "The Assembly Government is committed to providing more opportunities for women and girls to get involved in sport. We want to improve health and fitness levels in Wales and we are giving sport a renewed emphasis in schools via a number of initiatives. I welcome all new schemes that encourage young people to get involved in sport particularly those aimed at improving the gap in participation between boys and girls."
Richard Hodges, Director of WWRU explains, "Statistics show that at school girls play sports and exercise less than boys and by the time they reach adulthood, women are significantly less likely to participate in sports and exercise than men."
The objective of the initiative is to encourage school girls to take up the oval ball at a young age, Wales' fastest growing women's sport, and importantly one which they can continue after leaving school.
Ian Osborne, Managing Director of PHS Waterlogic continues, "There has been considerable research undertaken over the past couple of years showing the health benefits to children of drinking water as part of their normal school day. Regular drinking of water is shown to aid concentration, stop dehydration and as an added bonus, some schools are reporting improved academic performance".
"With the health synergies between exercising and drinking more water, PHS Waterlogic's contribution is a welcome partner in this initiative", says Richard Hodges.
The initiative is being launched in the build up to the women's Six Nations Championships starting next month. Around 1,000 schools across South Wales are being sent information packs about Waterlogic mains-fed water dispensers and about encouraging girls to take up rugby and give it a try!
Driving the initiative are three competitions encouraging schools to consider the health benefits of playing rugby and drinking water regularly. Schools have the chance to win 50 tickets plus transportation to see the Welsh women's rugby team in action at one of their Six Nations home games, to be played at Cardiff Arms Park. Schools will also have the chance to win one of the very latest Waterlogic mains-fed water dispensers for their school as well as one lucky girl becoming match day mascot, something they will never forget. As part of the competition, schools are invited to visit the WWRU web site to answer a simple question and design posters promoting the health benefits of playing rugby and drinking water.
The National Kidney Research Fund are also backing this initiative and a spokesperson for the charity confirms, "adequate fluid intake is essential for good kidney function as a lack of fluid can cause passage of more concentrated urine, which increases the risk of kidney stones. The WWRU and PHS Waterlogic initiative to encourage people to drink more water and play sport is very worthwhile to kidney health as a high fluid intake can also reduce the risk of kidney infections and bladder cancer as well as kidney stones. Children should drink about 6-8 glasses a day - assuming a glass is 200ml."