The WRU and national community partner SWALEC have launched the inaugural SWALEC Community Awards, an initiative to recognise commitment to active participation levels, community engagement and energy efficiency by grassroots clubs across Wales.
Clubs make a difference to our nation in many ways - they help improve our health through encouraging active participation in sport, and their work in producing our future players, coaches and referees is vital for Welsh rugby. Clubs can provide a focus for community members of all ages through the use of their club facilities and the high numbers of rugby club members throughout Wales means that small changes made by those club members such as energy saving measures can have a great impact.
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said of the initiative, "The WRU is well aware of the effort, expertise and enthusiasm injected into Welsh club rugby by the army of volunteers that make such a difference to so many people the length and breadth of the country, and we are thrilled that this aspect of our game will be recognised by our national community partner SWALEC in the form of this fantastic initiative to reward clubs who go the extra mile."
Alan Williams, Director of Energy Sales, SWALEC, commented: "The SWALEC brand is delighted to provide the opportunity to showcase and reward rugby clubs across Wales who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the sport, their local communities and energy efficiency."
SWALEC, the power behind Welsh rugby, have recognised the importance of community rugby clubs and have got together with training equipment provider Webb Ellis and the WRU to reward clubs who go the extra mile.
Three clubs will be handed £1000 worth of Webb Ellis training equipment for excelling in one of the three categories and one club will be named overall 'SWALEC Community Awards' winner for displaying efforts in all three categories. This lucky club will not only receive £1000 on Webb Ellis equipment of their choice, but will also receive a visit from members of the Wales squad and management who will pass on some training tips and advice and present the club with its Webb Ellis vouchers.
The winning clubs will also receive a signed and framed Wales shirt for their clubhouse, and be invited to the SWALEC Cup Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium.
The WRU invites applications from any WRU or WDRU club who feels it has made an outstanding contribution in Participation Levels, Community Engagement and Energy Efficiency. Applications must be made via the WRU website or by going direct to: www.wru.co.uk/swaleccommunityawards
Clubs still have time to make changes within their club as the deadline for applications is Monday 4 January 2010 and four winning clubs will be announced week commencing Monday 29th March 2010.
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.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.