25 Feb 2009

As the Wales rugby squad triumphantly roars on with their Six Nations defence, primary school children across Wales are getting fired up to emulate their red jersey heroes in Dragon Sport rugby competitions.

Tag rugby festivals are taking place across the length and breadth of the country, from Colwyn Bay to Crymych, in an effort to motivate primary school children to get physically active through the national game.

High profile inspiration abounds with Shane Williams, Gavin Henson, James Hook and Nicky Robinson fronting an all star line up of Welsh rugby super stars diving in to be enlisted as Dragon Sport Ambassadors.

Wales’ record try scorer and IRB International Player of the Year, Williams has thrown his support behind Dragon Sport’s drive to introduce youngsters to the sport.

Williams said, "I have been playing rugby all my life and I totally support the idea of getting youngsters involved in rugby and any sporting activities that will keep them fit and active at a young age. It’s brilliant to see that Dragon Sport is giving kids in Wales, some of whom might one day be inspired to represent our country at the highest level, so many varied opportunities to get into sport. It’s great that parents and volunteers are being encouraged to get involved with coaching youngsters too and goes to show that sport can bring families and communities together in a big way."

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling, said:

"As the Six Nations is in full swing, we hope boys and girls across Wales take up the many opportunities on offer to get onto the pitch. Dragon Sport is exceeding all expectations and I’m pleased that so many schools and clubs are providing fun and safe sports sessions for primary school children."

The lottery funded Dragon Sport scheme – Wales’ biggest campaign to get primary school children hooked on out-of-school-hours sport – is helping draw more children into sport and increase activity levels.

At its launch in October 2000, the scheme was billed as the biggest ever recruitment drive in Welsh sport – and it has exceeded all expectations, with 94% of primary schools in Wales now actively involved in the scheme.

One of the main aims of Dragon Sport, is to recruit and train volunteer sports organisers, leaders and coaches to spend time introducing youngsters to sports like rugby, tennis and hockey – especially parents and teachers who are the real experts on getting children out onto the pitch.

If you want to find out more about Dragon Sport in your area, contact your local authority and ask for your Dragon Sport Coordinator or check out www.dragon-sport.co.uk.