Grassroots benefits from £33m Welsh Rugby investment
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Grassroots benefits from £33m Welsh Rugby investment

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Welsh rugby union (WRU) has ploughed almost half of its 2016 revenue into the development of the game – with money going towards grassroots projects and facilities.

The governing body generated revenues of £73.3m (US$93.2m, €83.1m) over the past 12 months, up on the £64.8m (US$82.4m, €73.4m) it garnered over the previous year. Of that figure, £33.1m (US$42.1m, €37.5m) was invested back into “all levels of the game”.

While a portion of funding went towards the elite level of the game, the WRU “gained additional focus” on community rugby through the appointment of Ryan Jones as the head of rugby participation.

Jones oversaw a “50 per cent increase” in player numbers through the body’s School Hubs initiative, which has been the catalyst for a 30 per cent increase in fixtures played by a larger pool of teams.

The launch of Girls’ Cluster Centres – which encouraged young females into the games – has also attracted 2,000 new players.

In the coming year, Jones said he wants to “develop different formats of the game” to entice younger children and older men and women.

One of the additional focuses for 2017 will be the “continued work with clubs to provide and unlock funding to upgrade facilities across the game”. Money will also go towards the development of coaching at all levels and the launch of a digital strategy.

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Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has ploughed almost half of its 2016 revenue into the development of the game – with money going towards grassroots projects and facilities.
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