Friday 7th of December, sees the Scarlets host their first three festival for schools of the season. The festival will consist of five Ceredigion secondary schools, year seven pupils, playing round robin touch rugby matches. The games will be followed by a meet and greet with Scarlets players and a pre match parade around the pitch. The evening highlight for each of the young rugby players involved will be watching the European Champions Cup match against Ulster.
The festival is part of its Three Counties, Three Years strategy, where the Scarlets are supporting local schools, young talent and charitable events across the Ceredigion county to make a difference across a wider range of demographics within its communities.
The Three Counties campaign was kick started this summer with the launch of the Scarlets away kit which for the 2018-19 season is based on the Ceredigion coat of arms. Each of the five schools taking part in the festival; Penweddig, Aberaeron, Ysgol Bro Pedr, Ysgol Henry Richard, Ysgol Bro Teifi and Newcastle Emlyn School will receive a signed away shirt.
Supporting the festival activities is Justin Lloyd, WRU Regional Co-ordinator for Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. Justin said of the importance of connecting with local communities: “Rugby needs clubs like the Scarlets to engage with the community and in particular young players. They are basically supporting the work of the WRU development officers and also the hard work that the schools are doing to encourage interest in the game and keep it safe for future.”
Complimentary Match tickets were given to 20 pupils from each squad as well as teacher representatives from the five schools, and discounted tickets were also offered to family members. In addition to the touch rugby games, two schools are being selected to be the guard of honour before kick-off at half time.
Head of the PE Department from Ysgol Penweddig, Ifan Thomas said “The festival is a great way to bring the community together, building camaraderie between our young players, affording them the opportunity to play in the famous Parc y Scarlets. Meeting some of Wales’ most talented professional rugby players is a lifelong dream for many of our pupils; it’s a great thing for Penweddig and Ceredigion to be a part of.”
As a part of the community activity, Scarlets are actively seeking out additional community support opportunities for their sponsors and partners. Working closely with Ceredigion County Council, Chief Executive Eifion Evans said: “The Ceredigion Schools Festival is a unique experience for our year seven players and we’re very thankful for the commitment that the Scarlets have made to the county. They are also supporting many local charities and events in the region, and seeing our Ceredigion coat of arms colours represented on the Scarlets away shirt is a great honour.
We also happen to be the home to many a Scarlets fan, so we’re very proud to support the Scarlets in their European Champions Cup game against Ulster.”
Scarlets Head of Commercial, Nathan Brew on working in partnership with local Ceredigion businesses said; “A critical part of our work with the region is to not deviate away from age old values and its culture. Those that know and follow the Scarlets trust us and are loyal to us, our campaign is to reaffirm this confidence and to further develop that brand loyalty by proving our commitment to them.” Local businesses who would like to get involved with Scarlets’ Three Counties engagement should get in touch with Nathan Brew [email protected].