A NEW youth club in Barry aims to bring people together and stop vandals targeting a community space.

Barry Rugby Club – in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Wales and Cardiff Blues Community Foundation – held a taster for the youth club on Friday which went “really well” and plans are underway to make it a permanent club.

Jon Venners, who is one of the Directors of Barry RFC which has more than 400 kids in their under 19 section, said: “We are a fairly new committee and have strived to bring the club forward.

“We wanted to open the doors more to the community rather than being a stereotypical rugby club where blokes go to drink and watch rugby

“We wanted to do something similar to the Valleys where rugby clubs are often central to the community, and to support young people while promoting a healthy lifestyle and social activities.

He also explained that they wanted younger people to feel some ownership of the club and “embrace it and have fun” rather than criminally damage the premises or behaving anti-socially in the area.

Helped by funding from Vale of Glamorgan Council, along with funding from the three organisations behind the club, Barry RFC now has an area dedicated to the youth club. Along with a pre-existing pool table the area has TVS, gaming consoles, table tennis, sofas, and bean bags.

Cllr Kathryn McCaffer, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Arts and Culture, said: "It is great to see the new youth club up and running.

"Barry RFC is a real local institution and their vision for bringing young people into the club, not just to play rugby but to create a sense of community and shared ownership, speaks volumes about the club and those that run it.

"The Vale of Glamorgan Council is delighted to have been able to support the scheme by providing funding and equipment and offering the support of our youth service.

"The scheme has the potential to change the lives of young people living locally and we will do all we can to make this happen."


 The youth club will be developed on the back of the taster day, with different days planned for different age groups; younger people on Tuesdays, older children on Thursdays, with the possibility of Friday club for 18–21-year-olds depending on uptake.

Chief Operating Officer at Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales, Grant Poiner, backed our Stay Together campaign and highlighted the importance of considering younger people and how to keep them happy and healthy.

Mr Poiner said: “Sport is so important for young people – we wanted to encourage healthy activities with friends.

“We will also run a summer of fun programme at the club in which young people take part in an enjoyable sport or activity and get some fruit.

“The open day went really well, so we’re taking it bit by bit to get it going. The summer holidays are the perfect time to enjoy healthy activities with friends.

“We want to promote to all young people how fun sports can be.”

Cardiff Blues Community Foundation have been contacted for comment.

If people want more information about Barry youth club, or the summer of fun programme they can e-mail Jon Venners at jvenners.barryrfc@gmail.com