The competition was a partnership event organised by members of the Actif Sir Gar team, WRU Llanelli Schools Rugby Officers, Wales Touch Association, Coleg Sir Gar and the European Referee Commission.
The event was also supported by members of the Sports Council at Ysgol Y Strade who helped keep the tournament running by keeping scores, collecting rubbish, water distribution and running pretty much non-stop!
Carmarthenshire Sport & Leisure Officer, Matt Adams said:
The idea of the tournament was to provide an opportunity for schools to compete in a meaningful Touch competition. The tournament is the first of its kind in Europe and judging by the fantastic response, not just from our Carmarthenshire schools, but also schools from Swansea and Cardiff and beyond, there is a real appetite from young people to engage in this highly exciting minimal contact version of rugby.
We also wanted to develop young referees and were very fortunate to have Europe’s top two Touch referees in attendance to coach and mentor our younger officials.
Almost all of the 20+ referees ran close to a marathon over the two-day event! Four referees also received their upgrade to Level 1 Touch Referee badge during the tournament.
The main aims of the tournament were to help grow the game in Wales and particularly in Carmarthenshire. Touch rugby is considered as a sport in its own right in Australia and New Zealand with more than 500,000 children playing in school programs in Australia.
There is huge potential to develop the game in Carmarthenshire as the game appeals to many people - especially female players. The game is full of excitement, is fast and exciting and it is ideal to learn the basic skills of running, dodging, passing before moving on to contact forms of rugby or to be played alongside.
Strade’s plate-winning Under 18 Boy’s captain, Daniel Rees, who also plays Touch for Wales Under 18s said;
It was a really successful tournament with a high standard of playing and refereeing. Everything was arranged really well and I now want to play more Touch against other schools more regularly and so do the other boys in the team and some of them hadn’t played Touch until the tournament.
The tournament has also sparked great interest amongst the players. Nearly all of the surveys completed at the close of the tournament call on their schools to offer Touch as part of the PE curriculum and extra-curricular clubs, as well as the opportunity to compete against other schools more regularly.
Llanelli Touch Club has just been established and training for both juniors and seniors resumes in September after the summer break. Further announcements will be made via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/llanellitouch
Simon Langton School (Canterbury, England)
Girls Under 15:
Cardiff High School (Cup)
Maes Y Gwendraeth (Plate)
Boys Under 15:
Maes Y Gwendraeth (Cup)
Cardiff High School (Plate)
Mixed Under 15: