The goings on in and around Bridgend

Archive for tag: rugby

Groggs born in Pontypridd

Believe it or not, but these little gems are indeed iconic in Wales.  Known as Groggs,  they are as well known in rugby circles as the stars themselves.  If you want to try to understand the psyche behind the Welsh obsession with the oval ball, then there's of course the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to visit, but essential and a bit off the beaten track is the Grogg Shop in Pontypridd, where these little beauties are made. It's not all about rugby and sport though, as there are now Groggs of film stars, miners and even sheep but for the full collection and the history of these unique creatures in Wales, you have to pop into the shop. Guaranteed to be a cultural experience with a difference! If you're staying near us in Porthcawl or Bridgend, then there's a lovely journey over the top of the valleys to Pontypridd, will take about 30minutes or so.

Wales,the birthplace of rugby?

Wales V South Africa 2010, originally uploaded by TruPlaces.

A very interesting discussion on twitter last week during the opening ceremony of the Football World Cup that claimed that the ancient Welsh game of Cnapan (Based in the stunning location of Cnapan,near Newport in North Pembrokeshire),was the front runner that laid the foundation for football to emerge . However, the locals and numerous websites claim that their brutal game which often resulted in deaths was indeed an early form of rugby, centuries before William Webb Ellis picked up the football and ran half way down the pitch to score. If Cnapan was an early form of rugby played with a pigs bladder, does that account for the national obsession in Wales for rugby? Interesting. Cnapan has a great little restaurant, and the village is close to the rugged coastline in this part of the world and not too far from the excellent recreated Iron Age settlement, Castell Henllys. Well worth a visit, and away from the often over crowded South Pembrokeshire!

Crouch, touch, pause, engage!

Beach rugby in Wales. Well, rugby is our national sport and we do have some of the most spectacular beaches in Europe so why not? Beach rugby has become huge all over the world and so has touch rugby. A great spectacle and we've just discovered that on our very doorstep in Porthcawl, the locals get together to play touch rugby near Rest Bay, every Sunday between 11 and 1 pm. Fantastic. Will try to find out where other communities in Wales have got together informally, so if anyone knows, please share!