Following the excellent start made by the region in their 38-28 victory over the Blues on Friday, the DOSC have been involved in a number of community events at clubs around the region which show the strength of mini and junior rugby, not to mention the strength of local communities across Gwent.
On Saturday afternoon, the DOSC had the pleasure of attending the Sophie's 7's tournament at New Tredegar RFC.
The sevens tournament is held each year to raise money for the Sophie Pearson Community Fund, which gives thousands each year to the Children’s Heart Unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The event has raised over £100,000 over the last 10 years and this year's event raised an incredible £4,600 on the day.
Sophie, a former White Rose Primary School and Rhymney Comprehensive pupil, died aged 12 in November 2006 after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an inflammation of the heart muscles.
DOSC had the pleasure of meeting Sophie's parents Alyson Hughes and Gerwyn Pearson, two truly inspiring people who organise the event each year. We thank them both for taking the time to chat to us on what was a busy day.
The event was well attended with 8 teams involved, including Dragons regional clubs: New Tredegar RFC, Senghenydd RFC, Bargoed RFC, Aberbargoed RFC and Abertysswg RFC. The glorious sunshine, ample refreshments, kids activities, and skillful rugby on display, all contributed to the carnival atmosphere at the ground.
While not the primary focus of the day, the rugby was competitive with some close scores throughout, and Senghenydd RFC coming out on top, winning 19-17 in the final against Aberbargoed RFC. Congratulations to the Saints. The two links below are to some "highlights" of a couple of the earlier games (you will need Twitter to access them). Gerwyn and Alyson would like to thank all those who participated, praising them as a credit to themselves and to the region.
Dragons on Tour
On Sunday, the DOSC supported the region on their tour of clubs around Gwent. Players and staff for the region visited Ebbw Vale RFC, Hafodyrynys RFC, Caerphilly RFC and Penalta RFC to support the clubs' fun days aimed at players across a variety of age groups.
At Ebbw Vale RFC, over 150 players from RTB Ebbw Vale and Jesters Rugby attended the fun day and took part in a session coached by Dragons players Harrison Keddie, Lloyd Fairbrother, Rhys Jones, Dorian Jones, Carl Meyer and Ashley Sweet. There was also a "Brian Moore's mouth" competition and the opportunity for photos and autographs, not to mention an opportunity to see the Welsh Premiership trophy won by Ebbw Vale last season. A fantastic day was had by all, in particular the son of a DOSC committee member who was so impressed that he now classes Ebbw Vale as his "second team", a distance second after the Dragons of course.
At Caerphilly RFC, an U7s tag rugby tournament was arranged with clubs competing from Caerphilly RFC, Bargoed RFC, Cefn Coed RFC and Porth RFC. A DOSC committee member helped referee a number of the games and was impressed by the excellent skill levels on show and the desire of the coaches to focus on developing their players' skills rather than just trying to win the game. The conclusion of the tournament coincided with the arrival of Dragons players Elliot Dee, Ollie Griffiths, Jack Dixon, Thomas Davies and Matthew Screech who handed out medals, signed autographs and posed for photos. They also took a coaching session which all of the kids could participate in.
Following this, the Dragons contingent made their way to Hafordyrynys RFC where they held a Q&A for players, signed autographs and posed for photos along with Rodney the Dragon. The players were also appreciative of the food laid on by the members of Hafodyrynys RFC - hot dogs and burgers all around (we won't tell the conditioning coaches boys it's OK).
The final stop on the Dragons' tour was Penalta RFC where a Q&A was arranged between Penalta supporters and Dragons CEO, Stuart Davies. New Forward's Coach Ceri Jones, and players Rynard Landman, Brok Harris, Pat Howard and Nick MacLeod were also in attendance and answered questions from a tough panel of young Pitmen, as well as posing for photos and signing autographs. The DOSC look forward to having a beverage or two in the Penalta clubhouse ahead of our friendly against Ealing at Ystrad Mynach next week. Feel free to meet us in there for a chinwag about all things Dragons rugby.
Dragons players and DOSC members received a warm welcome at each venue which we are extremely grateful for. We look forward to working with those clubs, and other clubs around the region more closely over the coming season on a variety of community events. We wish all of the clubs the very best for their season ahead. If you are a member of a club within the region and would like some support with your event, please do not hesitate to email us at email@example.com
Highlight of the day - seeing the excitement among the young players at being able to see their Dragons heroes and watch them leave with a smile on their face and a Dragons flag in their hand.