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Rugby: Former pupil Tony Bale outlines history of Cooper Cup

Rugby: Former pupil Tony Bale outlines history of Cooper Cup

Ahead of this weekend's Cooper Cup, we spoke with photographer and former Rydal Penrhos pupil Tony Bale about the competition's rich history.

For those who are new to both Rydal Penrhos Prep and the junior section of Colwyn Bay Rugby Club it is perhaps worthwhile explaining how the competition originated and why it is a valued fixture played between the club and school each year.

The cup is contested annually with both home and away fixtures during the Easter term for U8s, U9s, U10s and U11s.

The combined age group results over the two rounds lead to the trophy being awarded to either the Club or School and, should there be a tie, this is decided on overall try count. We have had some very close results over the years.

Members of the Junior Section who had both Rydal Penrhos and club connections conceived the idea of the Cup. 

There is a long history of collaboration between club and school and it felt fitting that the trophy be named after Ken Cooper, who was a master at the Senior School for many years but also played for and was President of Colwyn Bay Rugby Club.

Ken Cooper’s daughter Kelly Elson, a former pupil of the School, keen rugby supporter and at the time of the development of the Cooper Cup, Head of the Pre-Prep department embraced the idea and presented the cup enthusiastically each season. 

Sadly she has since died but the competition lives on. 

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