The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a new ‘Seasonal Repositioning’ trial for the 2019 / 20 mini-rugby season (u7s to u11s), with at least seven clubs from the Dragons region set to take part.
The move is based on feedback from clubs and participants following last season’s trial of playing mini-rugby during the summer months.
This trial is based largely on the traditional rugby season but introducing a new winter break for mini-rugby for December and January and with a shorter extension to the season to incorporate some of the benefits experienced by players and volunteers last summer – but with a clear break for everyone during the school holidays.
More than 80 clubs around Wales will be part of this second trial.
WRU Community Director Geraint John said, “We have a flexible approach to growing the game for all and we are very open to trying new formats and innovative ways to engage with players, their families and vitally our important volunteers in what is a challenging time for all sports.
“We have listened to those who participated in last summer’s mini-rugby trial, along with other clubs and interested parties. Some of the key benefits experienced by players and coaches last year included greater enjoyment and better skill development from participating in rugby activities in better weather and families also felt more engaged in the rugby environment. However, we acknowledge the need for a break for all concerned during the summer holidays.
“We have worked with pitch experts and the advice is that a winter break when there is little or no growth could help sustain pitches for year-round use.”
WRU Participation and Retention manager Chris Ower added, “We want to develop meaningful partnerships with other sports organisations and community groups on a local and national level. Multi-sport participation can support players’ general physical literacy development and generate an increased chance of lifelong participation in sport and active lifestyles.
"We have already met with several National Governing Bodies including cricket to ensure the best outcome for all and believe that by working together, particularly for the May to July period of activity, we have an exciting opportunity to maximise the numerous benefits of children playing all sports.”
Dragons clubs already registered already for next season’s trial: Abertillery, Bargoed, Caerleon, Machen, Newbridge, New Panteg, Rhymney. If your club would like more information about the trial email firstname.lastname@example.org