Touch rugby makes a break for Builth Wells

Roots Rugby is a social touch rugby club for all ages to be launched on the Groe in Builth Wells, Mid Wales on May 6th. We are very excited to be at the heart of bringing this weekly event to our home patch. The club was the brainchild of PixelHaze founder and Back To Roots director Elwyn Davies, with the view of providing a free and sociable outdoor fitness class to his hometown.

So it’s happening... Roots Rugby will be up and running on the Groe every Tuesday during the summertime at 6pm.

Whenever planning an event like this the initial thought is one of fear. What if I am the only person in the town who has the faintest interest in playing a social game of touch rugby? What if, by the summer time, everyone is getting a little fatigued with the sport and instead prefer to opt for Cricket or Tennis? Then the mind spirals into self doubt and  a memory of my 10 year-old self resurfaces. I was brought up on a family farm in the middle of nowhere, didn’t have a driver’s licence (obviously) and worse still, had two sisters who had very little interest in throwing a rugby ball around for 2-3 hours on a Saturday afternoon.

So there I was, throwing a battered rugby ball off the deck (or gravel yard) to the same spot of a large, textured stone wall that was angled perfectly for me to retrieve the ball if I landed the pass. This was during the early 90s, of course it was the winning pass off the back of the last scrum (I was always the scrum half) of a Wales v England match to with the Grand Slam. Little did I know that I would be waiting another 12-13 years to watch the next Welsh Grand Slam. As they say, ignorance is bliss!

Okay, back to the point at hand. I don’t believe the imagination is quite as vivid as it was 26 years ago, but for me there is no more enjoyable way to getting into shape or to stay healthy as throwing a ball about in the park. It gives me a chance to let the inner child out to play once a week so I can try and be a sensible dad and trustworthy supplier to my clients for the remainder of the week. I really, REALLY hope I am not alone with this! Thankfully, the early signs are positive.

First of all, the idea has been received with infectious enthusiasm and unwavering support from our two partner organisations, Builth Wells RFC and Back To Roots. Nick Howells, Director of Rugby four the Bulls was on board from minute one. His coaching style has always leant towards the fine tuning of basic ball-handling skills and believes that touch rugby is a great vehicle for this. He has already hinted that he will be ‘actively’ encouraging as many of the 1st and development teams to get involved whenever they can. Nick is also enthusiastic about the idea of generating more interest in the grass-roots level of the game, we hope to see this translate into healthy numbers on the pitch.

At Back To Roots, we are constantly thinking of ideas that fit into the biopsychosocial model and touch rugby dovetails perfectly. Accessible but physically challenging when you get up to speed, socialble and an ideal way to clear the head and get away from stress at work and home. Tick, tick and tick. Along with the Back To Roots yoga classes with May, we will be hoping that a few of our clients undergoing rehab will come along and get involved (when given the Greenlight by their healthcare practitioner obviously).

Interested? This is a call-out to the wannabe egg chasers in the Mid Wales area who don’t want to rock into work on a Monday morningbattered and bruised. Or a yell to those who have played the game previously, but age/size/speed/available time are against them to consider getting involved in a competitive capacity once again. If you want to have a laugh and play some summertime touch rugby on a deliberately short, narrow pitch, we would be delighted to welcome you to the Roots Rugby Club. As it is social at heart, there is a very good chance that we may even hang around for a well-earned pint afterwards.

You can find out more over on our fledgling Facebook Page:


Elwyn Davies