The differences between the two codes of Rugby are well documented, but part of the Ironmen’s new era philosophy is to have good relationships with the communities around us, whilst providing another semi-professional opportunity for the regions finest Rugby Players.
This year, when Paul Edwards signed for the club, imagine our surprise (and delight) when Pauls Rugby Union team mates were rallying to support him on his Ironmen journey by being his player sponsor for 2017.
What a fantastic club,
Below is the letter written to us from Abercwmboi president Phil Lewis.
Dear all at South Wales Ironmen,
Thank you so much for giving Abercwmboi RFC a ‘shout out’ regarding our sponsorship of Paul Edwards. Let me try to give a little background about the “Village” and why we chose to do this.
Abercwmboi RFC was founded in 1980, based on a number of bedrock principles. The first was that we would work to promote rugby in whatever form and provide an opportunity for anyone to play the game. This was reflected in the fact that we quickly developed very large and dedicated mini and junior sections, which range from ‘rugby tots’ to youth. Our senior players are always involved and highly committed to this and the success of the Club’s efforts in helping to develop players is reflected in the fact that Ian Evans and Dafydd Lockyear, came through the ranks and honoured the Club, by representing us at senior international levels.
The second “founding” ideology is that we would always remain an “amateur” club and never pay a player. This may appear to be opposed to our decision to sponsor someone to play Rugby League, which of course has historically been a professional sport. However, it has always been the Club’s intent to support players in their efforts to develop skills and experience in as many ways as possible possible. In this case his teammates have taken the lead in raising support for Paul. Our ultimate aim of course is that Paul will come back to “the Village” and not only represent and showcase his skills at senior level, but also bring his wider experiences to junior players within the club. In this, our decision clearly links with our first principle, which is to get children and adults playing the sport.
We hope we can continue our links with Ironmen and hopefully produce rugby players that can play and enjoy both codes. Our end goal? “ Simply to give people a chance to learn, play and enjoy rugby”. So if you have anyone playing for you who would want to play Union and share our beliefs, they would be very welcome.
Best wishes for this season, and for the future, from all at Abercwmboi RFC.