Girlguiding Cymru - Bring It Home

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In September 2015 Girlguiding Cymru were gifted a rugby ball by the Rugby Union - ahead of the Rugby World Cup.  It is unusual for official rugby balls to be given out prior to the beginning of the tournament, and it was gifted under special circumstances so that Girlguiding Cymru could tour the country with it and encourage young girls to take an interest in the sport.  In addition to this, the ball was also signed by the Welsh Rugby Union squad.

This story and photos show just some of the sporting activites inspired by the ball.


The journey


The Bring It Home ball started its tour be arriving in Cardiff Arms Park, delivered by boat from Penarth.  Girlguiding Cymru members from Cardiff relayed the ball around the park, played some rugby based games, sang songs and celebrated with cupcakes. 


The ball was then relayed by car to Central Glamorgan where the ball stopped at Llanharan Rugby Club in Pontclun.  As well as more photos and signing the banner the girls enjoued a fun day with activities including an inflatable assault course, bouncy castle, crafts and cake.


The following morning the ball was relayed to Llandarcy Academy of Sport in West Glamorgan where Girlguiding members from West Glamorgan tried their hands at climbing, rugby and dodgeball as well as designing a new rugby kit and taking part in traditional sports day activities such as the egg and spoon race and various relay races. 


That afternoon the balled moved on to Carmarthenshire where the girls were already in the middle fo a very busy all day event in honor of the ball's coming.  The girls took part in football, rugby, hockey, inflatable games, basketball, dance, tennis, relay races and lots more.


After Carmarthenshire the ball moved on to Pembrokeshire where girls at Tasker Milward School in Pembrokeshire played rugby and had their photos taken with the ball. Then on to Ceredigion where the girls took part in an outdoor rugby session at Lampeter Rugby Club followed by a trip to Merioneth where the ball visited Barmouth Primary School, where the purpose of the Rugby World Cup, and the Bring It Home ball was explained to the children to help encourage them to take up sport.


Next Girlguiding Cymru members from Caernarfonshire met at Nant Conwy Rugby Club in Llanrwst for rugby sessions and a visit from Rachel Taylor (Captain of the Wales Ladies Rugby Team).  Followed by a quick trip to Anglesey to visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogogoch.

Moving west the ball then travelled to Denbigh Rugby Club in Clwyd where the girls from Girlguiding Clwyd took part in a number of activities, including rugby sessions, obstacle courses and a race down the length of the pitch and back. After Clywn the ball moved south into Montgomeryshire where it visited voth campuses of Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, where the children sang songs, wrote good luck messages on the Bring It Home banner and played some rugby. 

In the evening the ball went to Machynlleath Rugby Club where Girlguiding members had their chance to see it and take part in some rugby sessions.


Nearing the end of it's journey the balled visited Llandrindod Wells High School in Radnorshire where year 10 girls played rugby to celebrate the Bring It Home event, and also travelled to Crossgates Primary School for the children there to see it and have their photos taken with it.  Later girls from schools and rugby clubs in Breconshire took part in their own Bring It Home event by singing songs, playing rugby, and signing the banner for the Welsh team.

Last but definitely not least Girlguiding Gwent held their Bring It Home event at the training ground of the Newport Gwent Dragons.  They challenged themselves with a huge rugby training session, including important rugby skills such as how to tackle properly.


The outcome

During the course of the week the ball visited every one of the fourteen counties in Girlguiding Cymru.  The good luck banner that travelled with it was signed by everyone in each event and was later presented to the Wales Rugby team wishing them luck in the Rugby World Cup.  The ball brought together Girlguiding Cymru members and others to celebrate and take part in many different sporting activities.