One of the main reasons for the long-term success of our Community Department is the way they operate so smoothly as a team and by building quality working relationships with partners and key community agencies.
Mike Sage is the community manager who organises the whole department with great effect and whose enthusiasm and spirit drives the community on.
Janice Chappell brings the enthusiasm & passion for her teaching of sporting skills and sportsmanship which still impresses all the schools and clubs she deals with.
Mike and Janice have become a key ingredient of the Community success at the region with over 20 years experience and have delivered our unique community schemes to over half a million youngsters throughout the region.
The team have been officially recognised for their work with the Gateway scheme winning Welsh Scheme of the Year in 2002, being rewarded with a meeting with HRH Prince Charles for their work within the Princes Trust and have been presented with many tokens of thanks, which are proudly displayed in their office, from satisfied and grateful visitors to their home at Rodney Parade.
Most recently the department were proud to be shortlisted in the 'Contribution in the Community' category at the South Wales Argus Business Awards 2018.
The Community Team
Mike Sage – Community Manager
Mike is a qualified Secondary Physical Education teacher, a WRU Level 3 rugby coach and has vast managerial experience which helps him run the community department like a well-oiled ship.
Mike was the first development officer that was employed here at Rodney Parade in 1999 and he was made manager in 2001. He has successfully seen the evolution of the department using his sharp eye for detail and planning. Mike leads by example to maintain their current successes and he ensures the team keeps at the cutting edge of community development.
Mike has a young family and is a keen sportsman himself who gained International/County honours at both rugby and cricket in his younger years before moving on to have a productive semi-professional rugby playing career. He has also had successful spells as both a rugby coach and team manager at the semi-pro level; hence, he has a huge amount of experience and sporting knowledge.
Janice Chappell – Community Development Officer
Janice followed Mike into the development officers’ role in 1999 and we are very proud that she was the first full time female development officer, not only in Wales but throughout Britain.
Janice was a keen rugby player who missed out on gaining full Welsh honours through a constant nagging injury that brought about a premature end to her playing career. She moved seamlessly on to become a very successful referee and her no nonsense attitude has helped her in many aspects of her working life today. Janice is a very well respected rugby coach and always gets the best out of the players.
Janice is happy to set about her business in a very quiet and efficient manner, and at the end of the academic year it is Janice’s letterbox which is crammed full of thank-you cards and letters from grateful teachers, pupils and parents.
Gareth Sullivan - Gateway Rugby Community Coach
Gareth is a welcomed addition to the Community Team due to our expansion of the Regional Gateway Rugby Primary School Programme.
He has a huge passion for rugby and particularly community rugby. He continues to volunteer as a coaching coordinator at his local club and is at the forefront of driving a one club ethos.
Gareth has vast playing & coaching experience at various levels and still enjoys getting his boots dirty on the playing field.
He is a WRU Level Two Qualified Rugby Coach and his coaching ability has enabled him to apply his skills & knowledge at District, County & Wales Exiles Level.
Gareth has well & truly served his coaching apprenticeship having volunteered for 10 years in various roles within community, mini, junior and senior rugby.
This commitment has been rewarded with his appointment as Gateway Rugby coach and proud lead coach of the Dragons ALLSTARS mixed ability team that has gone from strength to strength under his leadership over the past year.
Angharad Kibble - Gateway Rugby Community Coach
Angharad is a welcomed addition to the Community Team due to our expansion of the Regional Gateway Rugby Primary School Programme.
Combining her University studies along with her passion for rugby, Angharad joined us last year on a year-long placement.
During her time with us, Angharad was mentored by Janice, which give her confidence, experience & knowledge of sports development, whilst also developing her skills and learning the impact that the Gateway Rugby Scheme has across the Dragons Region.
A keen rugby player, Angharad was fortunate enough to wear the Unicorn jersey of Nelson RFC and represent the Dragons on several occasions for the Women and Girls U18's before a long-term knee injury ended her playing days prematurely.
Along with her coaching abilities, Angharad is currently a WRU Level Two Qualified Coach. This has allowed her to get involved with the game at many age groups and game formats, including Mini & Junior, Girls Rugby, Senior Rugby, and Disability Rugby.
Her dedication and commitment, providing all ages and abilities with a positive rugby experience Angharad has not only been rewarded with the appointment as a ‘Gateway Rugby coach’, but also the involvement in a number of coaching roles at her club Nelson and also the WRU in the delivery of their Disability Rugby Strategy.