by Tom Pritchard
THE successful World Cup Tag Rugby Festival held at the USW Sport Park on Wednesday made one man in particular very proud.
Over 150 boys and girls from 14 schools in the Pontypridd area attended the Festival, bringing the local community together. The children represented different nations replicating the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Dean Parsons is the BSc Rugby Coaching and Performance course leader at the University of South Wales. He tasked his students with planning a Tag Rugby event aimed at pupils from Years 4, 5, and 6.
The event was part of the Pontypridd Valleys Rugby Initiative, which was set up by Parsons and Pontypridd RFC head coach Justin Burnell.
Parsons a Proud Man
“It’s great for me because the students get a real, nailed-on experience. So from a course leader’s perspective, it doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.
As well as rugby coaching, students were able to put their organisational skills into practice. This is part of Parsons aims for them to develop in a variety of areas.
“Over a number of years now, we’ve got to the course to somewhere where I think it should look like in relation to very specific pathways and employability routes for the students.
“The first years, who planned today’s event, have been with us for eight weeks and have already had contact with 1,500 local children in the wonderful facility at USW Sport Park.”
Parsons was keen to stress how an event such as this benefits everyone involved.
“As a service, we’re trying to reach out to the local community as much as possible, and everybody gets their cup of tea from it.
“The children really enjoy it, and my students have a real broad brush overview of participation coaching.”