Rugby as a distraction from drug and alcohol abuse


Rugby and drinking alcohol are often seen to go hand in hand, however ColegauCymru is involved in a project with four other countries, Portugal, Spain, France and Bulgaria that promotes the social benefits of rugby for those at risk of drug and alcohol addiction.

Launching the Erasmus+ funded project called “It is up to you” this week, the youth exchange will involve staff and young people from the Sport Wales, the Youth Sport Trust, Welsh Rugby Union and ColegauCymru. The youth exchange will allow young people to set the foundations for future work and foster values of rugby, feelings of interculturality and healthy habits among the participants and the partner entities.

Based in Iscar in Northern Spain, the project is led by Club Deportivo Chane based in Valladolid and builds on the Erasmus+ Youth Sports Development Ambassadors project led by ColegauCymru.

On return, the five young people from Wales will identify ways of implementing what they have learnt and focussing on their common love of sport to bring groups in communities closer together through rugby. The aim is to combat or avoid young people becoming involved with drugs and alcohol by engaging them in rugby opportunities.

Working with the WRU and Young Ambassadors Cymru across colleges and communities around Wales, the young people will be able to share ideas that promote rugby as a route to a healthier more active lifestyle. This work will attempt to make a difference in communities and support our young people in their struggle against their problems.

Rob Baynham, ColegauCymru Sport Coordinator said “This opportunity provides talented young coaches, ambassadors and apprentices from Wales with a chance to extend their horizons. The youth exchange provides a challenging environment culturally, socially and encourages participants to work with new European partners. In Wales this work provides more experienced young leaders to support new initiatives in FE Colleges, schools and community settings.”

For more information on the European funded project ‘It’s up to you’, please contact