Brecon Rugby Club’s Under 16’s and Under 15’s teams are taking a major challenge in order to raise funds for their trip to Belluno in northeast Italy at the end of March.
The team have accepted a challenge to cycle for 24-hours in rotations, amassing the total distance between Brecon and Belluno - over 1,000 miles.
Brecon RFC have formed a bond with Italian side ASD Rugby Belluno and for sixteen years now the clubs have been visiting each other on alternating years, but missed out on two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will be the fourteenth meeting between the clubs.
This year it is Belluno’s turn to host Brecon, who have been fundraising in order for the trip to take place. The team have been bag packing at local shops and have held a quiz night, so the 24-hour cycle challenge is the third of their fundraising endeavours for the season.
Three bikes will be set up for the players at the rugby pavilion who will start their challenge at 2pm on Friday, 16 February and finish at 2pm the following day.
Speaking about the team’s challenge, Coach of the under 16’s team, Alan Taylor told The Brecon & Radnor Express: “Fair play to Louise, who has organised it all. The boys are looking forward to it, and worked out they’ve got to do about 15 miles every hour and I think they’re doing two to three hour stints.
“It’s a good challenge; some of the parents were worried that it might be too much but fair play to Louise again, she went and did an hour on the bike at the leisure centre to prove that it can be done.”
Talking about the club’s relationship with Belluno, he said: “This is the fourteenth year now that it’s been going. Apart from the two years its Covid, it’s carried on and got bigger and bigger every year.
“This year we’re taking out 38 players, which is the most we’ve ever taken so we’ll be able to play two games out there this time. We’ve got about 60 parents and siblings coming out this year so there’s about 95 of us going out there this year and it’s getting bigger and bigger. It costs about £30,000 for all of us to go, so we’ve done quite a lot of fundraising and sponsors have helped out towards kit and stuff, so we’ve done well with the fundraising.
“It started off through Richard Morris, who was headteacher of Ysgol Y Bannau. A family member of his lived out there and Richard and a load of others were coaching one of the age groups at the time and decided to try and go over there to see if it would work. Both clubs really enjoy it and it’s been going on ever since. We’ve got good relationships with them.”
Brecon have never lost to Belluno in their meetings, but Alan says that the gap is closing. He said: “Brecon have never lost to them, but the games are getting tighter now. The Italians with rugby fourteen years ago, it wasn’t a big sport over there, but now you can see through the National side, they’re getting better and the standard of kids rugby is getting better as well now, so the games are definitely getting tighter now. It’s not a forgone conclusion that Brecon will win anymore, it’s all about how they play on the day now.”
If you wish to follow the team’s progress on their 24-hour cycle challenge, please follow the link below (There is also a link to donate to their fundraising on the website):