The number of young women playing organised rugby in North Wales has doubled in just a year, following SP Energy Network’s coming on board as a sponsor of RGC and the Wales U20 rugby squad.
SP Energy Networks said they are proud of what they have achieved in their first year of sponsorship having had a significant impact with the men's senior team, game days and have made a significant investment in encouraging girls and women into rugby at all levels since signing in November 2016.
The three women’s regional clusters (the Ravens, Rebels and Pirates) are going from strength to strength with more girls playing for each team, and there are now twelve new rugby centres across rugby clubs in North Wales where women can participate in rugby.
Newly formed RGC Senior Women’s and Under 18’s Women’s teams are being launched with the first home match on Sunday 26th November.
The North Wales region has doubled the number of girls (400 up from 200) taking part in organised rugby in North Wales as young women now have access to training at twelve rugby centres.
Over the summer the girls aged nine to 15 attended multiple SP Energy Networks sponsored girls rugby festivals in Dolgellau, Bala, Welshpool, Llanidloes, Wrexham, Ruthin, Denbigh, Llangefni, Nant Conwy, Caernarfon, Mold and Abergele.
The SP Energy Networks sponsorship has supported the RGC senior men’s team in their first ever season in the Principality Premiership in which they finished a very credible fourth and then went on to be crowned WRU National Cup Champions.
The Wales U20 squad also enjoyed a successful season and achieved a respectable third place finish in the Six Nations.
SP Energy Networks and Welsh Rugby Union hosted activities at the Anglesey Show where members of the public young and old could meet RGC players and take part in rugby skills training and touch rugby competitions with WRU staff and RGC players.
Alongside squad sponsorships, SP Energy Networks sponsors home fixtures at Stadiwm Zip World (formerly Parc Eirias).
It has created a new interactive ‘fan zone’ while the WRU North Wales Participation Team and SP Energy Networks invite local rugby clubs’ junior teams to take part in pre-match engagement activity sessions.
These sessions have attracted between 90-140 local children at each home match and give a great opportunity to develop rugby skills at grass roots across North Wales.
Sion Jones, General Manager for the North Wales Development Region and RGC, said: “The incredible support provided by SP Engery Networks has enabled North Wales to have a very positive and successful 2016/17 season both on and off the field.
“We share similar values and aspirations, and together we are engaging with more people, more often and with more enjoyment and success.
“SP Energy Networks is committed to the region and the development of rugby in North Wales, working in partnership we’re confident that we can help make North Wales a very successful region.”
Stephen Stewart, Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “We are absolutely committed to supporting communities in North Wales.
“Last year we signed a major three-year sponsorship deal with WRU and RGC to deliver expansion of grassroots sport, more opportunities for female players and participation in rugby across the area.
“We’re proud of the success achieved in the first year of our sponsorship and look forward to delivering even more in our second.”