Monthly Archives: February 2015

That time of the year

When all the 6 week rugby fans appear.

Yes they do annoy me. But the ones who annoy me the most are the ones who say “we love rugby but we have no region to support so we support Wales”. The second bit is so much rubbish!!  I can understand the ones who only support their national team as that will be the case in any sport.  There will always and should be a bit of extra interest in the national team . Also who doesn’t watch odd sports during the Olympics just because their country is doing well.

Let me tell you a story

I grew up in north Sweden in a football loving family but since 2006 I live in Swansea. I grew up playing football myself, watching my brother play, hanging around the teams my dad coached.  I watched the local top team, division 3 at the time, and the senior men’s team in my club.  But I still had a favourite team in the Swedish top division because I enjoyed watching their style of football. I was 14 the first time I quickly passed through that town (which is 1 1/2 hours away by plane) on my way to play a football cup in Denmark. On top of that I had a favourite team in the English top league and still have, Liverpool FC. I was 41 the first and so far only time I have made it to Anfield.  I wish I could go more but every Saturday morning I coach my son’s U10s team and every Sunday morning I coach my daughter’s u14s team so it’s a bit tricky.   I have been to the odd Swans game as I love football but I only have so much time (and money)

When we moved to Wales and Swansea both my husband and I started to follow rugby. We started with Wales as the 6Nations are easily accessible. However as the love for the sport grew we wanted more.  We started to go and watch the region our area belonged to which was Ospreys. At the start we knew some of the players from Wales but some we had no idea who they were. I chatted to Justin Marshall and his wife at the school quite a few times before someone told me who they were. In the beginning, we used to bring a blanket for our youngest so he could go to sleep during the evening games.  However, quite quickly when we started to follow the Ospreys by being season ticket holders we got to know  who all the players were. We enjoy watching the young players coming through as well as watching the established players.  We enjoy it because we love the game of rugby and  by following the region we can  follow and support rugby on a day to day basis.

We also follow Wales, go to the odd game as they are too expensive and because of Roger Lewis I decided not pay for a ticket during last few years (managed to win 5 free tickets over the years).  But just watching Wales is very much a part time affair and if you like us love rugby it’s not enough.  From my background you should realise that I have much respect for grassroots and I do understand to a certain extent people who only watch their local club. I say to a certain extent because after all, for me, if you love the game I think there naturally is an interest to watch it played at a higher level. A season ticket with Ospreys is VERY affordable so price can’t be an issue compared to watch Wales.

Now to the important bit, we do this without being born in Wales. Our families are not from here, we are not in any way connected with the region before we moved here because of my husband’s job.  Some people are born into supporting a club/region but it is NOT a prerequisite!!! It can be a choice. If you decide that you don’t want to follow a region it’s your choice, it doesn’t have anything to do with “there  being no region for you”.

I don’t know how many Swans supporters who I have spoken to who has a second team in Premier League as they grew up when Swans played in a lower league and then chose a Premier League team to support. I have a favourite team in the Top 14 etc..

The regions will not succeed without the grassroots and Wales will not succeed without the regions. So if you are professing your love for rugby and say you support Wales but there is no region to  support you are not really a supporter of the Welsh National team either.  (And yes I do watch my local rugby team every now and then.)

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