Over 500 entries received in Rugby Stories competition

Libraries, archives and museums have joined forces with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to hold a competition for young people to celebrate rugby in Wales as part of the forthcoming Rugby World Cup celebrations.
The competition closed on Monday with over 500 entries received from children and young people aged between 7 and 16 years old from across Wales – entries include poetry, short stories and films and cover an amazing range of subjects from bossy referees, witches, zombies, dragons, injuries, the Groggs to rugby players made from chocolate, jelly and sweets!!
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates commented:
“This fantastic competition encouraged young people to record their experiences of rugby in Wales, whether they are playing, watching or hearing their friends and families talk about it – we have created a collection of stories that showcase rugby in Wales from the grass roots level right up to national team performances.
“This competition has given young people an opportunity to develop their literacy and digital skills in an engaging and fun way. Story telling is a great way for children to let their imagination grow and learn more about themselves and the world around them and I look forward to seeing the entries.”
The next stage of the competition is to come up with a shortlist – 30 judges from libraries, archives, museums, academic institutions and the rugby world are giving up their time to each judge a batch of the entries.
The finalists will then be chosen by a specially selected panel of judges comprising rugby personalities, authors, librarians and media experts and finalists will be announced early in September. The judging panel to date includes:
Phil Grant Author/ RWC Working Group
Sir Gareth Edwards Former player/President of Cardiff Institute for the Blind
Ken Skates AM Deputy Minister – Culture, Sport & Tourism
Dan Anthony Author of Rugby Zombies Series
Dr Rhys Jones TV Presenter/Rugby Fan
Aneirin Karadog Bardd Plant Cymru 2013-15
Martin Daws Young People’s Laureate
Anni Llyn Bardd Plant Cymru 2015-17
Gareth Davies Chairman-WRU
Stephen Hanks Creative Director – Tantrwm
Ed Holden Mr Phormula (Rap Artist/Beat Box Specialist)

WRU Chairman Gareth Davies said:
“I’m very much looking forward to reading the entries for this exciting competition. We know that rugby plays a special role in the national psyche in Wales and this competition will hopefully both tap into its popularity amongst the school children and help us reach out to those who are yet to get the bug.”
The competition finalists will have their stories displayed at a new Kick-offs and Keep-sakes exhibition in the National Museum Cardiff from 8th September and they will also be invited to attend the launch of the exhibition on 16th September 2015 to pick up their prizes.
Janice Lane, Director of Learning, Exhibitions and Digital Media at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:
“This is a great way for young people to share their passion for the game. Rugby and literature are both important parts of Welsh tradition and culture.
“We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition which will combine the two ahead of such a prestigious competition.”
For more information about the competition please visit: www.rugbystories.wales and join in the conversation on #rugbystories
The competition and the events that took place during June/July support an innovative new Welsh Government policy initiative, Fusion: Tackling Poverty through Culture which links cultural bodies more closely together with the Communities First programme to inspire young people and adults. Fusion: Tackling Poverty through Culture is currently being trialled in six ‘Pioneer Areas’ across Wales. For more information visit http://gov.wales/topics/cultureandsport/tackling-poverty-through-culture/?lang=en