Welsh Junior season starts with a bang

On the back of Celtic Crusaders launching their player pathways two weeks ago, this week saw the largest number of children participate in rugby league in Wales in one day.

With Super League staff on hand from all 12 clubs to promote Millennium Magic, the message of rugby league was spread all across South Wales with 17 schools and all eight conference clubs visited, showing that the junior game in Wales is growing in strength all the time.

Armed with balls, cones and promotional material, the 19 members of Super League staff split into groups and went to work. The day started at pace with regular school visits, all of whom were participants in this year's Champion Schools competition, where the pupils were treated to fun games and skills sessions from the professionals.

Wales Rugby League development officer Dan Clements said: "To see so many children participating in rugby league on one day is great.

"After visiting these schools throughout the duration of the Champion Schools competition, it is great to see them enjoying extra sessions from clubs such as Harlequins and Leeds.

"For all the super league clubs to give up their time to help promote rugby league in Wales is testament to the community spirit in our game."

After a hectic day around the South Wales schools, the work wasn't finished there. Staff were paired off and visited Blackwood Bulldogs, Cardiff Demons, Newport Titans, Neath Port Talbot Steelers, Swansea Dragons, West Wales Sharks, Bridgend Blue Bulls and Torfaen Tigers to help out with the junior sign up nights and deliver their first coaching session of the new season.

Wales Rugby League development officer, Aled James said: "Today's exercise has been fantastic. For all Conference clubs to launch their season on the same night is unheard of. None of this would have been possible without the help of the Super League clubs".

Also on the subject of the junior season, Clements added: "To see so many faces around the clubs is great. 2008 is shaping up to be the biggest season yet for junior rugby league in Wales.

"With several new age groups starting up at established clubs such as West Wales, Torfaen and Bridgend is great news for our growth. I'm also pleased to see that a new junior section starting up in Merthyr Tydfil which is a strong area for us in schools rugby league".

The junior season kicks off on the weekend of May 17th/18th and all clubs are encouraging even more new players to try out this summer.

All contact details can be found on the clubs page of www.cymrurl.com.