In the last two months the Newport Gwent Dragons have been aiming to create Wales’ first street rugby team for anyone in the region who is or has been homeless. The new team represents a fantastic opportunity for potential players to get involved and benefit from the experiences rugby can offer, on and off the pitch.
Over the last few weeks project Co-ordinator and Coach Callum House has been visiting shelters and residential homes across the region looking to get people of all ages and rugby experience to play at Rodney Parade. The recruitment has been broad with some having never picked up a rugby ball before to players with caps for Wales Deaf.
Following their successful first session earlier this month, the team has managed to gain sixteen players that have already began training to fulfil an upcoming fixture. The team are already targeting a game against Homeless Rugby’s Warriors YMCA Homeless Rugby team on 16th December 2016, before the Dragons play the Worcester Warriors in the Challenge Cup that evening.
“It’s fantastic to welcome Callum and Newport Gwent Dragons to the Homeless Rugby Family. They have shown real enthusiasm for the project, seen the impact our work elsewhere and are creating a new and dynamic opportunity for people affected by homelessness in the region.”
Darran Martin, Director of Homeless Rugby CIC
The street rugby project aims to support people affected by homelessness in all aspects of their lives. The community staff at the Dragons will be looking into tailored of the pitch support that will benefit players according to their current needs. These outcomes could include educational and training opportunities, or help overcoming personal challenges, such as drug and alcohol addiction.
We hope that by engaging through rugby and showing the values that comes with the game we can help improve the lives and futures of everyone involved.
Homeless Rugby and Newport Gwent Dragons would like to thank Positive Futures of Sport Caerphilly. This project would have been possible without their ongoing support and funding. Such funding has enabled the team to purchase kit and equipment for the players to train properly and reassure the projects sustainable going forward.