As posted on the Tivy Side Advertiser

CARDIGAN Rugby Club has appointed what is believed to be its first official chaplain.

Rev Alan Kent, Associate Priest in the Bro Teifi Ministry area, has been appointed as the sports chaplain to support everyone at the club.

“It’s my privilege to have been appointed to this role through Sports Chaplaincy UK, a UK registered charity which specialises in the provision of sports chaplaincy having around 600 sports chaplains across the UK and about 75 roles here in Wales,” said Rev Kent.

Cardigan Rugby Club

The idea came about after Rev Kent had conducted a funeral at Narberth and met another vicar who was a chaplain for a rugby club at Carmarthen.

“I had a chat with someone about it and the next thing I was invited in for a meeting with the club and I have been made the club’s chaplain,” said Rev Kent, who is no stranger to club members having been involved with the rugby club choir.

While he has not been able to meet face-to-face with players and staff due to the coronavirus crisis, he is still available to take or via email.

In an open letter to the club, Rev Kent said: “As the club’s chaplain, I will be there for you to talk with me privately and offload any issues that may be of concern to you, both on field or off-the-field matters.

“Sports organisations are increasingly realising that players are whole human beings. The conditions of other areas of a sportsman’s life, including unplanned circumstances off the field, can and do affect their performance on the pitch.

“Through a sports chaplain, Cardigan Rugby Club wants to ensure that wellbeing/pastoral care and support is made available.

“For this to happen a relationship of trust needs to be established. Although many will have got to know me through the last nine years or so through the club choir, and various church services I have taken such as, baptisms, weddings, funerals etc., I aim to be around supporting the club as often as I’m able.

“As chaplain I have been invited in by the club but I am not employed by it and remain independent. Therefore I can assure you (and your families) of a strict code of confidentiality. What you choose to say to me will stay with me.

“I am not sure what your reaction will be to having a local priest being connected to a rugby set-up but I hope that you will find the role of chaplain worthwhile and supportive and give the idea a go.

I am here for those of any faith and those of no faith. look forward to getting to know you.”