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Rugby Star Kayleigh Powell set for Olympic Debut

09.04.22 - England Women v Wales Women - TikTok Womens Six Nations - Kayleigh Powell of Wales makes a break.

Great Britain Rugby 7s Women have named their squad for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris this summer. The squad includes two Welsh women: two-time Olympian Jazmine Joyce and NPTC Group of Colleges Alumni Kayleigh Powell.

Kayleigh completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Sports Development with the Welsh Rugby Union and Ospreys in the Community through Pathways Training at Neath College in 2018.

The fullback who plays her club rugby at Bristol Bears made her Wales 15s debut against Ireland in 2019 and has 16 caps for her country. Kayleigh signed her first full-time professional contract with the Welsh Rugby Union in July 2022 and was also part of the Welsh team at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in the same year.

Kayleigh was chosen to be a part of the Welsh Rugby 7s team that went to the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2017 where they made history by winning a bronze medal and becoming the first Welsh team to win a medal at a Commonwealth Games. In 2018 she was selected to represent Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

At the end of 2022, Kayleigh was selected to represent Great Britain Sevens for the first time at the Sevens World Series events in Dubai and Cape Town. Since this Kayleigh has split her time between Rugby 7s and 15s and was part of the Welsh team for the 2024 Six Nations Championship. She is now on a hybrid contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and GB Sevens.

Ioan Cunningham, the Wales Head coach, said:

“This a fantastic achievement for Jaz and Kayleigh and they fully deserve the opportunity to showcase their talents on the Olympic stage in Paris in July. To have two Welsh international rugby players represent Great Britain Sevens is an achievement the whole nation should be proud of.”

Before she earned her full-time contract with the WRU in 2022, Kayleigh worked as a Participation Officer with Ospreys in the Community. This role is part of a WRU initiative to help raise the participation numbers in rugby and ensure there are playing opportunities for all, across Wales.

Kayleigh had this to say about working Part-time with Ospreys in the Community and trying to fulfil her rugby aspirations:

“It was quite challenging having a part-time contract while still in my part-time job with Ospreys in the Community. I loved that job, getting children into sport and giving them the best opportunities, but I also wanted to allow myself the opportunity to play to the best of my ability for my country. Not being able to put 100 per cent into both was hard so being able to give everything to rugby now, hopefully, my performance will go through the roof, and I can get to where I want to be.”

Kayleigh started her Apprenticeship in 2017 with Pathways Training, and looks back fondly at her time as an apprentice:

“Doing an apprenticeship benefited me because I was able to learn on the job and get real-life experience and adapt through the apprenticeship,  identifying my strengths and weaknesses – it allowed me to work on that.”

“I gained a lot of confidence, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and completing my apprenticeship gave me an insight into who I am as a person and how I can learn and develop new skills.”

“If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship I’d definitely say give it a go, you won’t lose anything you will only gain the opportunity to work as you learn and find out if you actually want to do the job. Completing an apprenticeship gave me first-hand experiences of what my job was going to be like.

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