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GIBBS ENCOURAGES PARENTS TO PITCH IN

4 May 2004

draig familyScott Gibbs has signed up to Wales’ biggest campaign to get more children than ever before to play sport.

The recently retired rugby legend has hung up his boots but is now urging Mums and Dads across Wales to pitch in with grassroots sport and help run sports clubs.

He has come on board as an ambassador of Dragon Sport – a National Lottery funded programme run by the Sports Council for Wales.

The programme aims to create and develop more extra-curricular opportunities, encouraging children at an early age to get fitter and healthier. It also aims to get teachers, Mums and Dads in on the action to run sports clubs.

The new signing comes on the back of a strong partnership between the Ospreys and Dragon Sport in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

Schools from the region have strutted their Tag Rugby skills at the Ospreys games in pre-match and half-time demonstrations.

Gibbs explained, "Dragon Sport is a fun way to get children into sport and I wholeheartedly throw my support behind it. It’s vital that we get Welsh children on their feet, being more active."

"Volunteers are vital if we are to create and sustain more after-school and weekend sports clubs. So I’m urging the real experts on children – Mums and Dads – to have a go, roll up their sleeves and to pitch in with getting our young people sportier and more active."

The powerful Centre has made a massive contribution to Welsh rugby – as a Wales international as well as at Swansea RFC, Neath RFC, the new Neath / Swansea Ospreys region, and the British Lions.

He also had a very successful spell in Rugby League where he played for St Helens RLFC and extended his international honours for the Wales Rugby League side.

Gareth Govier, Dragon Sport Coordinator for Swansea, believes Gibbs makes an excellent role model for children:

"Scott was a very committed and dedicated player, who was always motivating his team-mates around him, whichever team he played for. He is still very well respected among other players and coaches across the world and children playing any sport today can certainly learn from the way he always encouraged others."

"When I asked the Ospreys about working together – the response was very positive. Many schools in the region have since attended the home games, to carry out demonstrations of Tag Rugby – a junior, non-contact version of the game - and to meet their heroes."

"They have met Wales Internationals such as Adam Jones, Andy Williams and Huw Bennett, who have all helped us promote Dragon Sport. When Scott agreed to lend his support – I was delighted."

Marketing Executive for the Ospreys, Mark Selby, is full of praise for Dragon Sport which supports the Welsh Assembly Government’s Climbing Higher strategy:

"The link between ourselves and Dragon Sport has enabled both parties to actively encourage youngsters to participate in sport. The children involved are able to take part in a fun environment, and then sit back and relax to watch their heroes take the field in a Celtic League rugby match.

"It has helped us cast the net across the whole region in encouraging schools from Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea to take part in the pre-match build up and half-time shows - hopefully encouraging them to come back as future Osprey supporters.

"The crowd at each game are also able to appreciate and see the hard work that Dragon Sport - the teachers, parents and children from each school - puts into each match-day."

"I would like to thank Dragon Sport for enabling us to have the link, and I hope that it continues into the future."