Rugby clubs across Wales played host to 'Join the Beat' this weekend, and Cardiff Harlequins showed how their proactive culture attracts people to the Cardiff based club week in week out.
Sixty-eight Welsh rugby clubs signed up for the recruitment weekend this weekend, which was introduced to encourage involvement in the community game following the huge interest generated by Wales' World Cup performances.
Cardiff Harlequins were amongst the registered venues that opened on Saturday and Sunday morning to welcome prospective players, volunteers, coaches, match officials, first aiders and administrators to the game.
The Quins were able to showcase their club to a new audience after embracing this new initiative and club Chairman Phil Judd was enthusiastic about the clubs future, "Becoming the heart of the community is key to our plan, we welcome everybody here, really trying to embrace the whole community as well as other aspects that we're trying to promote at the moment such as healthy living, activity and health through physical activity.
"We welcome any initiative that helps us to encourage people to come along to the club, get involved in physical activity or come and join in as a volunteer. We want children to enjoy everything that sport offers, we have great camaraderie, and a lot on offer in our off field activity. We're trying to keep alive the traditions of club rugby which is the community spirit, team spirit and just pure enjoyment.
"It's not just a village concept, we don't have any cliques. Rugby is a wonderful exercise and everything that comes with it. You don't have to have been born within a five mile radius to join here, we have many people who enjoy our facilities that have moved to Cardiff to work from all over the UK and they will tell you how we welcome them with open arms as much as someone who lives within a stone's throw of the ground."
Former Wales international Arthur Emyr, who is a regular volunteer at the club, believes these initiatives are essential, "It's a case of the more the merrier, it's a numbers game at the end of the day, at this level you realise that's even more apparent, that is what is important, the future potentially is bright but you can't be complacent.
"Yes we have to get the numbers in and these initiatives assist in that. We must draw people in, bring the values of rugby to the forefront, which are something special, parents, volunteers, everyone gets involved which isn't the same in every sport, we must provide the experience the children enjoy which stands rugby apart from other choices they may have."
"Rugby is competing with some big sports so it's important that the infrastructure, character, uniqueness, everything we have in Welsh rugby is preserved because the talent is there so we have to make sure the future continues to look bright so we can go on and win that world cup one day!
Experienced club members were available to give advice and answer questions about how to become an active participant in the game at rugby clubs across Wales over the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
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