Gareth Anscombe, fly-half for Wales and Cardiff Blues, hosted a training session for pupils at Cantonian High School in Fairwater and handed over 100 kilograms of donated sports kit – roughly the same weight as fellow Wales player, Hadleigh Parkes – to School of Hard Knocks (SOHK), a charity that uses sport to help disadvantaged communities in Wales.
The donation, which comprised of brand-new international rugby shirts, shorts and boots, as well as a collection of vintage classics, was dropped in to Principality Building Society branches by people across Wales as part of a campaign launched over Christmas.
The ‘kit drop’ scheme, pioneered by Principality and launched with the support of Wales internationals Jonathan Davies, Hallam Amos and Gareth Davies, asked for people across Wales to donate new and unwanted sports kit to SOHK, which has been a charity partner of the building society for the past three years. SOHK uses sport to help tackle unemployment, crime and poor health, and help put people back on track towards work or education.
Gareth Anscombe, who grew up in New Zealand, has a personal affiliation with Cantonian High School as it is where his Welsh mother studied as a child.
Anscombe said: “I’ve worked with School of Hard Knocks before, mostly with their adult groups, but it’s been really special to revisit Cantonian High and see first hand the positive impact the charity is having on young people in the community.
“Rugby in particular is a great way of building confidence and learning life skills, and School of Hard Knocks has been instrumental in getting young people involved in the sport.”
James Harper, corporate social responsibility manager for Principality, said: “This was the last big campaign we’ll work on with School of Hard Knocks, and we wanted to finish with something spectacular.
“The work that School of Hard Knocks does to support vulnerable adults and young people is inspirational, as is the huge amount of effort that people across Wales have put in to donating sports kit. Our branches were overwhelmed with donations which we’re extremely grateful for.”
Elinor Snowsill, a coach for SOHK and fly-half for Wales Women, said: “Many of the young people we work with often aren’t in a position to provide sports kit of their own. Building confidence in those people through sport is a major part of what we do, and thanks to Principality and those across Wales who donated kit, we’re in an even better position to continue our work and help change lives through sport.”