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Rugby star Rio inspires home club’s rejuvinated juniors section

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With current Wales rugby star Rio Dyer as their role model, Pill Harriers RFC’s rejuvinated minis and juniors section are flourishing thanks to National Lottery funding.

The Newport-born World Cup winger used to play for the Pillgwenlly club as a schoolboy, while his Dragons team-mate Ashton Hewitt also learned his trade at the Harriers, but the club's minis and juniors section sadly folded in 2017.

However, the production line of Pill rugby talent is now back in full flow after the club successfully applied to Sport Wales for a Be Active Wales Fund grant – which distributes lottery funding to grassroots sport – to help re-establish their minis and juniors.

£4,700 was awarded to the club earlier this year so that they could buy all of the balls, tackle bags, headguards, tag belts sets and other equipment that they needed to restart, as well as coaching and first aid courses for their volunteers.

Matthew Amos, U13 Coach at Pill Harriers RFC, said: “We were starting from scratch, so we applied to Sport Wales’ Be Active Wales Fund to buy what we needed to get the children out on the pitch with fun and engaging sessions, building the junior section from the ground up. Applying for the funding was a really straightforward process and Sport Wales were very helpful in giving advice and support.”

Brian Cromwell, Chariman of Pill Harriers RFC, added: “We’re in one of the most deprived areas in South Wales, so what we do is try to encourage the youngsters from the area, making them feel wanted and included within the community. It was clear from the beginning that there was a lot of demand from local children to play rugby and we’re very thankful that volunteers came forward to get involved. It’s great to see how much it means to the kids for them to be part of the club. They were also really inspired to see Rio playing in the World Cup - he did us all proud. ”

Thanks to players of the National Lottery, more than £30 million a week goes to good causes across the UK through initiatives such as Sport Wales’ Be Active Wales Fund. If you would like to find out more about how the Be Active Wales Fund could be used to help develop more sporting opportunities for all members of your local community, please