From a region of South Wales with a population of less than 9,000 comes a small time rugby club that has played an integral role in its community for over 130 years.
Legend has it that young farm workers challenged a group of bricklayers to a game, and thus history was made.
“Dinas Powys RFC was founded in 1882 and has played rugby on the Common since this time. Only a few games would have been played in the early years as the sheep and cattle grazing on the Common would have had first rights to the area!”
Hywel Jones tells Rugby Club about this historic club.
“In the early years it is likely that players changed in one of the Inns in the village and then walked to the Common to play the matches. In these early days the posts had to be erected and removed before and after matches and the players were responsible for purchasing their kit and the match
Thankfully for Dinas Powys, stray cattle and remembering the goal posts before each game are no longer the issue. Finance and facilities are now the concerns on Hywel Jones’ mind as he strives to keep this club in existence.
“The fortunes of the next season are determined in the close season. The club has to complete its accounts, elect officers and committee that will appoint coaches.
“Finance will always be a problem as the WRU diverts money away from smaller clubs to the regions,
and continues to undermine the grassroots clubs by selling superior international tickets through Ticketmaster than they supply to their member clubs.
“The challenge is survival, as fewer youngsters continue to play sport.”
The youngsters currently at the club, despite lacking in numbers, are not lacking in talent. Dinas Powys under 8’s reached the final of this year’s regional youth tournament in Carleon, and the older youth players are starting to make the breakthrough into professional rugby.
“Youth rugby and the mini rugby section is flourishing and is the production line for future senior players for the club. These sections are therefore very important to the club.
“The youth side had a strong showing and the hope and anticipation is that players from this team will progress to the senior side. The top try scorer for the 1st XV last year Adam Williams, with 24 tries has been asked to train with Cardiff RFC, following the footsteps of Matthew Hadley, Owen Golding and Ian Eidman.”
The club currently shares its Common home with the local cricket and football sides, but is in need of some modernisation.
“The need to maintain and improve facilities is always a challenge, as unlike many other clubs the local authority provides no support in this area.
“However the stunning views and historic location are commented upon by almost
all visiting supporters.”
On his wishes for the future of Welsh rugby, Jones concluded: “Survival, advancement and a return to more localised leagues are needed to promote more local awareness and interest.”