PERFORMANCE apparel and footwear innovator Under Armour today announced a nineyear partnership extension with the Welsh Rugby Union thought to be worth £33m.
The deal is the longest on record for a Wales kit supplier, cementing a 17-year partnership that will see the brand maximise the national team’s sports performance through to 2025, and reinforces Under Armour’s commitment to making athletes better around the globe.
The global sports brand’s presence in rugby is rapidly expanding. Under Armour first emerged in the sport as Official Technical Partner of WRU in 2008, when the Wales national side became the first licensed rugby team to wear Under Armour’s technical apparel.
Under Armour has also reinforced its commitment to the WRU by becoming title sponsor of Welsh rugby’s autumn international series matches, for the next nine years.
The Under Armour Series 2016 – which will welcome Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa to Principality Stadium on consecutive Saturdays in November – will be the first to boast such a long term brand partnership.
The clash with Japan is the latest to be added to the 2016 Under Armour Series match schedule and they face Wales on Saturday 19th November, kick-off 2.30pm.
The Wallabies kick-start the Series on Saturday 5th November (2.30pm) and the Pumas visit Cardiff on Saturday 12th November (5.30pm), with the Springboks completing a quartet of top quality opposition for Wales on Saturday 26th November (5.30pm).
“The Under Armour Series will be about testing ourselves against the best sides in the world, and with Japan now completing the fixture line-up for 2016, we have four teams from World Rugby’s top ten coming to the Principality Stadium in November,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.
“Under Armour’s support for Wales has been unerring in every aspect since they came on board in 2008 and it is great news for Welsh rugby that they will be working with us until 2025.”
The long-lasting partnership will also provide WRU with access to Under Armour’s Connected Fitness platform, which will ensure that all athletes will benefit from health, fitness, and training data to improve their performance.
Since the partnership began in 2008, Wales have won the RBS 6 Nations Championship three times, including two Grand Slams and have continued to impress on the international stage.
Kevin Plank, Under Armour Founder and CEO, said: “We have always identified with the WRU’s relentless and determined attitude, which align with our core values at Under Armour. I’m proud to form a long-term partnership with the WRU and look forward to seeing our innovative performance gear produce world-class results on the pitch.”
In addition to match day kits, Under Armour will provide performance training apparel to the WRU first team, age grade squads, Sevens and Women’s teams – all of which will feature Under Armour signature technologies, enabling peak performance in all weather conditions. This includes sweatwicking HeatGear fabric to help keep players cool and dry, and ArmourGrid technology for light, durable strength.
Martyn Phillips, WRU CEO, said: “Welsh rugby’s partnership with Under Armour is a key foundation for our future plans and upholding the legacy of our national sport. We have much in common, in that we are both ‘challenger brands’ who have a tendency to ‘punch above our weight’. The positive impact of this partnership, which also sees Under Armour take on the role of series sponsor for our autumn matches for nine years, will reach new heights on a global scale. I’m excited about the future, the potential for both brands and the opportunity to deliver on higher ambitions.”
Gareth Davies, WRU Chairman said: “With the new partnership extension, Under Armour will become one of the WRU’s longest serving commercial partners, supporting Welsh rugby through three decades. Their support and dedication to our national side has been unwavering, reflecting some great successes for us on the field.”
Under Armour performance training apparel and footwear are currently worn by all Under Armour rugby athletes, including international players Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Jordi Murphy, Drew Mitchell, Jamie Cudmore, James Haskell, Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate.
Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre and Brynamman Lido to be transferred to a community groups
A MULTI- SPORTS facility, at the heart of the Gwendraeth Valley, has been taken over by a local sports group, the Baton Twirlers.
The management of Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre, which is owned by Carmarthenshire County, has been transferred to the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) via a lease agreement and will allow the public to continue to use the facilities at the centre.
Whilst Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre is now the official home of BTAC its facilities are available for the local community and sports groups to be used.
An official reopening of the Centre, which bears the name of one of the Gwendraeth Valley’s most famous sons, under the new management of the BTAC was held on Sunday, October 2.
Speaking at the event, Jessica Shore Director of the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) said:
“We are thrilled to have worked with Carmarthenshire County Council to secure this sports centre on behalf of the local community and it’s a pleasure to welcome the public here today. We are looking forward to working with and hosting various community and sports groups at the Carwyn James Sports Centre.
“It also was very important to us to provide a home for baton twirling in Wales, and we will make great use of the excellent facilities here.”
Cllr. Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said “This is a great success story for the BTAC, the Gwendraeth Valley and the council as we have secured the future of the Carwyn James Sports Centre for the local community.
I would like to thank Baton Twirlers Association Cymru for their work and enthusiasm during the process of transferring management of the Sports Centre to them, as a community group, and I wish them the very best for the future.”
Plans approved to transfer management of Brynamman Lido
On Monday, October 3, the council’s Cabinet approved plans to lease the Brynamman Lido, which is held in trust by the Carmarthenshire County Council, to Brynamman Lido Limited under its asset transfer programme.
Under the proposed lease, Brynamman Lido Limited will take over the management of the lido with the intention to reopen the swimming pool for sporting, recreational and leisure activities.
Following the approval of the plans by the Cabinet, Cllr. Gareth John commented:
“We are pleased to be working with the local group in Brynamman to transfer the management and maintenance of the lido to the community.
“The transfer of this asset will allow Brynamman Lido Ltd to apply for funding via grants that would not be available to the County Council, and we will continue to work with them and provide support along the journey to reopening the lido to the community.”
Latest recruit to Llandeilo’s Ashmole & Co team ‘converts’ his spare time into being a rugby referee
Ashmole & Co have scored a try with their newest Trainee Accountant. The firm is delighted to announce that Aled Jones has recently started working for the successful accountancy team in the Llandeilo office.
Aled, who lives in Pontyberem, is a community rugby referee in his spare time. He referees senior rugby games on Saturdays and Junior rugby games on Sundays including cup matches. He is also involved in the Scarlets Cup Final at Parc y Scarlets and the Carmarthenshire cup finals.
Before joining Ashmole & Co Aled was a Personal Banker with Barclays Bank for five years. He studied AAT Level three at Coleg Sir Gar. Aled went to primary school in Pontyberem and secondary school in Ysgol y Gwendraeth.
Day to day with Ashmole & Co, Aled prepares and inputs clients’ sales and purchase invoices onto the accounting software; completes clients’ VAT returns and assists senior members of the team with the preparation of accounts. The most rewarding part of the job for Aled is hearing that the clients are happy.
Welcoming Aled to the team, Ceri Llwyd, Partner in the Llandeilo Ashmole & Co office, said, “We are delighted that Aled has joined our team in Carmarthenshire. He has fitted in well and is a pleasure to work with. I’ve told my rugby mad sons that they have to behave now when they play rugby on a Sunday in case Aled is their referee! It is great that he gives up his spare time to help local rugby clubs in this way.”
Aled said, “I am grateful to Ashmole and Co, who are one of the most established and largest teams of chartered, certified accountants and auditors in south and west Wales, to give me this opportunity.”
Ashmole & Co offer financial support to a significant number of junior and professional sports teams across south Wales. The Llandeilo office has recently shown its support to Llandeilo RFC by contributing towards new tops for the juniors.
Ceri added, “As a rural firm that works with businesses in the area it is a pleasure for us to be able to lend our support to local sports teams.”
Llangennech prove too strong for Penclawdd
LLANGENNECH earned their fourth win in as many matches on Saturday (Oct 22) as they beat Penclawdd 38-10.
Jordan Saunders got the scoring underway with the first try of the game and Thomas Davies added the extras.
Penclawdd then levelled the scoring with a try from Daniel John Guarneri and Marcus Brown added the extras.
It remained 7-7 until half time with conditions proving tricky for both sides.
In the second half, Aaron Howles got the try to put Llangennech ahead but the conversion was missed.
Joseph Hutchings then extended the visitors’ lead with their third try and Davies added the extras to take the score to 7-19.
Penclawdd then responded with a penalty from Brown as the home side looked to get back into the game.
However, Llangennech soon had their fourth try and a bonus point as Howles touched down for his second try of the game and Davies added the extras.
Louis Rees then scored an unconverted try before replacement Hefin Jones went over for Llangennech’s sixth try, converted by Davies.
On Saturday, October 29, Penclawdd travel to Aberystwyth for their second game in the Division 1 Cup.
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