More than 100 youngsters from across Conwy county had a ball when they were given the chance to try different sports.
The children from the county’s primary and secondary schools had a go at a variety of sporting skills at the Sport for All event organised by housing association Cartrefi Conwy at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay.
The two-hour session, which included everything from shooting hoops to rugby, football and basketball skills, was held in the indoor sports hall at the stadium.
The session was run by expert coaches and the participants all had a free lunch and goodie bags.
It was all made possible thanks to Cartrefi’s sponsorship of North Wales’s flagship rugby side RGC 1404.
Later the participants formed a flag-waving guard of honour to cheer RGC’s team onto the pitch for their clash with unbeaten Welsh Premier League giants Cardiff.
Two of the young rugby players who helped form the guard of honour, 13-year-olds Marian Williams, a winger from Dyserth, and Erin Cust, a scrum-half from Colwyn Heights, both play for Dreigiau’r Glannau, the junior girls rugby club.
Erin said: “Today has been a brilliant event and we’ve really enjoyed it. There have been a lot of different activities and it’s been great.”
Marian agreed and added: “I got into rugby when I was about five or six and Sport Wales held an event here at Eirias Park and I’ve really enjoyed it ever since.
“It’s been great playing for the Dragons and it has been a good experience to come here today.”
Also taking part were Harry Dickinson, aged eight, from Penrhyn Bay, who said: “It’s been a lot of fun, the best I’ve been to,” while Riley Jones, 11, from Llandudno Junction, added: “There’s been lots of different things to do and the coaching has been great.”
Cartrefi Conwy Managing Director Katie Clubb said: “Health and well-being is a priority for us and I think the event here has been a brilliant example of how we work with the local community.
“We hold it as part of our sponsorship of RGC 1404 but we have tweaked it from previous years to include a variety of sports, including for the first time Wheelchair Basketball North Wales who have been very successful in opening up opportunities for young people in North Wales.
“As a result of broadening the base of the event it has been the best-attended ever and everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves.”
Conwy County Councillor Angie O’Grady, from Llandudno, attended and she said: “It’s been a great event, the best Cartrefi have done, and it’s wonderful to see the kids getting involved after all the restrictions there have been.
“This is a safe environment for them and they have clearly enjoyed themselves and it gets them off their computers and mixing with others.”
Cartrefi Board member Peter Parry, Chair of Sport North Wales, said: “This event aims to expand the opportunity for everyone to access sport and the benefits it provides.
“I am delighted that our sports partnerships are not only supporting Cartrefi’s social impact goals but contributing to the wider ambitions of Sport North Wales.”
Gareth Jones, Cartrefi Conwy Chair, said: “It has been an excellent event and has provided a great opportunity for them to enjoy different activities and make new friends with young people from all over the county.”
Katie Clubb added: “It’s all about giving young people, whatever their level of ability, the chance to be included and to benefit from participation in sport with all that brings and it provides a showcase for the local clubs and the opportunities there are to get involved in sport.
“It also gives our tenants an opportunity to meet and mingle with our board members, the Scrutiny Panel drawn from our tenants, sports representatives and a range of Cartrefi colleagues and our partners at Conwy Council.
“It is through building partnerships with Conwy County Borough Council, the North Wales regional rugby side RGC 1404 and the other clubs taking part today that we’re able to put together events like this.
“Conwy Council’s culture strategy is focused on delivering positive social and economic changes though culture, creativity and sport and we work with them to link sport and culture to well-being and positive community engagement.
“Hopefully this event also acts as a showcase for the clubs and helps them attract new young members.”
The young cheerleaders certainly helped RGC 1404 get off to a flying start against Cardiff as they took an early lead and ran the Blue and Blacks, currently second in the Welsh Premier League, close before losing narrowly 25-21.