Over 300 youngsters from throughout Wrexham have taken part in Street Rugby sessions since its North Wales launch last month.
Street rugby sessions have kicked off and are taking place in the Caia Park, Gwersyllt and Plas Madoc areas of the county borough. Crusaders coaches take the sessions, with local police officers and PCSO’s getting involved with the young people.
Training sessions are based not only around rugby league but include other fitness elements, including boxercise, rugby football. The competitions vary from tag rugby to ‘grapple’ to full contact.
The Street Rugby League project is part of the national StreetGames network, which takes sport to the doorstep of young people, is a joint initiative between North Wales Police, Wrexham Community Safety Partnership, The Co-Operative and Communities First.
And it’s not just young people that have been getting involved in Street Rugby. Local Police and PCSO’s have ditched their uniform and have got stuck into session.
Dawn Samuels, Community Sergeant for Wrexham North, has been taking part in the Gwersyllt sessions and thinks Street Rugby is the perfect way to bring people together said:
“Street Rugby was introduced by Crusaders in partnership with the Community Safety Partnership. Crusaders want to get involved with the communities in Wrexham, and make a positive impact on community life in general. We’ve done a couple of sessions now and we want to get as many kids as possible involved, not just in Gwersyllt but the whole of Wrexham North. We are encouraging youth clubs, youth services and any families in the area to bring their children down and get involved in Street Rugby.”
“I know children not just from the Gwersyllt area, but also in Plas Madoc and Caia Park are befitting from the Street Rugby scheme. I do like rugby and PCSO’s will be taking part in the sessions. It’s a great opportunity for the Police to engage with the community, engage with the kids and provides a great platform for us all to communicate with each other.
“Throughout the summer months, Street Rugby provides children with something to do and focus on. If we can get them off the street corner, and get them down here doing some exercise as well as having a bit of fun, then that can only be a good thing. The children have been learning lots of skills, such as how to work as a team and we hope this can divert them from anti-social behaviour.
Matt Pritchard, Community Development Manager for Crusaders RL said:
“We knew that bringing Street Rugby to Wrexham would prove popular, but we’ve truly been overwhelmed with the amount of young people turning up to the sessions. Having the police here in their sports gear means adds to the fun atmosphere and helps the kids realise that they are here to help.”