Ashley, who has been playing for Penarth Mini section since age 9, was brought to the club by his parents as he was desperate to play sport under difficult circumstances. Having been rejected on several occasions due to a medical disability, coaches at Penarth assured Ashley and his parents that his deafness wouldn't be a problem. Admittedly, other members of the team had some difficulties, but in his first season at the club, Ashley was overwhelmingly voted player of the year by his team mates and such is his progression that his name was put forward for the Vale of Glamorgan County schools under 11's team, appearing in almost all of their games.
Coaches at Penarth, Howard Morgan, Mike Adams and Paul Thomas believe taking Ashley on was one of their better decisions and he is now a vital part of the side. The only stipulation during contact is that Ashley removes his hearing aid. His parents firmly believe that this opportunity has certainly changed Ashley's life.
Sarah O'Rafferty, Sponsorship Manager of Zurich Financial Services added "Ashley has been a great success on the rugby field despite his disability and he thoroughly deserves his award".
Pictured below with Ashley receiving his Dewi Dragon award and framed Zurich 'Lions' photograph are Ben Evans, former Wales tight head prop and a favourite of Ashley's and Michael Leek, Service Centre Manager at Zurich Insurance.
For more information, please contact Angela James 029 20781742
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.