Join one of rugby’s famous faces to celebrate the families at the heart of your club on International Family Day today.
Ryan Jones, WRU’s Head of Participation, has taken to social media to encourage the rugby community to share photos of their family enjoying the game together as latest figures show participation across ‘Minis and Juniors’ is on the rise.
Around 30,900 children and their families are expected to flock to rugby clubs across Wales this weekend, an 8% increase on the number in 2014/15 and a 38% increase from 2010/11.
Across the country, 54 clubs are fielding minis and junior numbers in excess of 200. Leading the way is Mold RFC, where 339 Under9s to Under16s take to the field. Also doing well are Wrexham (with 295 children), St Peters in Cardiff (292) and Newcastle Emlyn (276).
To mark the celebration, Jones tweeted the WRU’s Community Twitter @WRU_Community with a selfie of his own family enjoying Sunday rugby at Mumbles RFC.
“Show @WRU_Community your #rugbyfamily for #InternationalFamilyDay. Here’s mine @Mumbles_RFC”
The former Wales and Ospreys captain and British and Irish Lion swapped his Under Armour kit for office attire when he took on the grassroots rugby remit to engage more people more often in the national sport, across all its forms.
The former Risca youngster turned triple Grand Slam winner has always hailed the importance of his own ‘roots’ and relishes any opportunity to lace his boots and return to the rugby pitch with his own children on the weekend. He said:
“Family values and the role of the family in developing enjoyment and success across the game cannot be underestimated in Welsh rugby. Without a doubt the support, understanding and dedication and, at times, good humour of my family are the reasons I’m here today. Whether rugby or any sport my parents were and still are always there for me.
“As husband and father of three, I will always want to reciprocate this same support on and off the rugby pitch that my own family have shown me. But I’m not the only parent out there enjoying rugby with the family on a Sunday morning as our figures show that more and more children are playing rugby up and down the country!
“What better day to pay tribute to the kids and the support of their families than International Family Day, as thousands of Minis and Juniors lace their boots for what is likely to be their last match of the 2015/16 season.
“Sharing rugby with the family is fun in whatever form. Whatever rugby means to you, send your family snaps to @WRU_Community Twitter and share in the celebration of families all over the globe.”
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