Cardiff and Vale College’s Rugby Academy has celebrated another season of success at its second presentation.
It has been a year of firsts for CAVC’s Rugby Academy – spending its first year in Tier 1 of the Welsh Colleges league programme and beating the formidable Coleg y Cymoedd team for the first time.
It is the first year that the Academy contributed 10 players to the Cardiff Blues Regional U18s squad and the first time the team has had four international players.
The Academy entered the WRU Urdd Sevens for the first time and won it. It was also the first year that the team entered the world’s biggest schools’ rugby contest, the Rosslyn Park Sevens, and came fourth out of 750 teams.
The Academy’s coaches and business sponsors – Bae Coffi, Circle IT, Principality and Simply Fresh – attended the awards presentation at the College’s City Centre campus.
CAVC’s Rugby Academy works in partnership with Cardiff Blues, giving its players the opportunity to play home games at BT Cardiff Arms Park. Cardiff Blues Gethin Jenkins and Richard Holland were joined by WRU Head of High Performance Geraint John as guests.
Mr Jenkins said: It’s a great occasion, and I am enjoying the awards that celebrate the boys’ season,” Gethin said. “This is an excellent venue and it’s an amazing college.”
The coveted title of Player of the Year was awarded to Joe Miles, who was worked hard and reaped the rewards, gaining an U18 cap at Wales versus England at Ebbw Vale.
Dafydd Smith was given the award for Players’ Player of the Year after outstanding performances at Rosslyn Park and WRU Urdd U18s, earning his Welsh shirt in Paris in 2016.
Marley Lovell won the Coaches’ Award, while Dylan Lawley was named Most Improved Player and Tony Lamerton won Most Promising Player.
Ben Thomas, Joe Miles, Dafydd Smith and Odin Pronk were given
framed jerseys to recognise the international honours they have accrued this year.
Ben Thomas also won the Captain’s Award. Mr Thomas, outside half and captain, gained his first cap last year, toured South Africa and put in an impressive performance against France and England at Ebbw Vale.
The college’s director of rugby, Martyn Fowler, added: “One question I’m often asked about the Academy is ‘How do you measure success?’ While the trophies are nice to hold, they will no doubt lose their lustre.
“What stays with us and everyone involved with CAVC is the knowledge that we have made a positive contribution to the lives of our young men when delivering on the Academy mission statement: developing better people and better players.”