I’VE written before about the strength of the sporting community in Penarth and Sully, and rugby has been at the forefront over many decades, with a great tradition and well-documented history locally.
Nowadays the sport is as strong as ever, with senior teams from Penarth RFC, Old Penarthians RFC and Sully RFC playing in various leagues, and many hundreds of youngsters following in their footsteps and getting to grips with the game from an early age.
The annual Old Pens Sevens tournament continues to go from strength to strength. I very much enjoyed attending last year, and although I couldn’t be at this year’s event on Saturday, I’m sure the fine weather meant another fantastic tournament.
The clubs are also of course important social hubs, and I’m sure Penarth Times readers of all ages are already looking forward to next year’s Rugby World Cup, and relishing the prospect of getting together at the clubhouse to watch Wales (and of course all nations!) compete at the highest level.
Many of you may also be hoping to secure tickets to the matches here at the Millennium Stadium, either directly or via local clubs.
Demand for tickets to major sporting events such as this (as well as concerts and special events) will always outstrip supply - and the problem this creates for consumers is just one of the issues I have been looking into during my work on the Consumer Rights Bill, which is currently in the report stage as it makes its way through parliament.
As part of the Shadow Business team, and alongside the Shadow Culture, Media and Sport team, I have been pressing the government to take strong action to tackle ticket touts - who buy in bulk and resell at many times the original face value - and reform the laws governing the resale of tickets, including specifically in the run-up to next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Our proposals would give the Secretary of State power to protect tickets for events of national significance as well as helping crack down on those who resell tickets online without the permission of the event organiser or in breach of the terms under which tickets are sold.
The ticket touting industry in Britain is out of control and stands between true fans and their enjoyment. It’s an issue that needs urgent action, to ensure fans are not ripped off, and that access to events like the Rugby World Cup remains within the reach of all.