15 May 2008

Merthyr Tydfil is set to charge down and scrum, thanks to a National Lottery investment by the Sports Council for Wales.

The Tydfil Wildcats Rugby League has secured a £1000 Community Chest grant from the Sports Council for Wales.

The club now plans to plough the funding into brand new kit as well as coach and referee training. The Community Chest grant means that the club has been able to set up a new under-13s and under-15s team which they hope will play in the Wales Rugby League.

Ultimately, the club’s masterplan is to expand so that they have one senior side and further junior teams over the next three seasons.

Recently, the Wildcats have tasted success with four boys recently selected to represent Wales.

Club chairman, Ian Gwynne, explains, "As the evenings get longer and we enjoy better weather, we’re hoping that young people will come down and give rugby league a go. It’s really good for all-round fitness and conditioning and is able to complement rugby union.

"We’re hoping that if there’s greater access to the sport in the area, then the number of local boys going on to be represented in the Wales Rugby League could increase."

Since the inception of the Sports Council for Wales’ Community Chest scheme in 1999, communities across the length and breadth of Wales have been investing heavily in sports and physical activity projects.

As a result of the popularity and undoubted success of the scheme, the Sports Council for Wales is raising the level of grant. Organisations keen to develop sport & physical activity in Wales can now receive up to £1000 for a qualifying project over a 12 month period.

The scope of the scheme has also been widened. Grants have traditionally been awarded to sports clubs and sporting bodies. Now most organisations seeking to develop physical activity and sporting projects will be eligible for an award.

The Community Chest has recently been infiltrating additional areas of work such as the voluntary sector (e.g. Voluntary Youth Clubs, Women’s Institute) and the workplace, as well as continuing to support projects in the health and education arenas. So while funding the local football club might get the younger members of the community moving, backing a walking group will encourage more adults to get active.

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

"Community Chest has been and continues to be a huge success and is very popular throughout Merthyr Tydfil. The increase in funding and the greater scope of the scheme will increase its effectiveness.

"Panels based in each of the 22 local authorities in Wales hold the purse strings and have delegated authority to award grants to worthwhile projects. We want to hear of bright ideas and projects that will get more people in Merthyr Tydfil more active, more often."

To remove the obstacles and to get your project going, call your Sports Council for Wales regional office:

South East Wales:

South West Wales:

North Wales:

Or visit sports-council-wales.org.uk

If you are interested in signing up to the Tydfil Wildcats, contact Ian Gwynne on 0.