Our Dragons Community team are out and about across the region every day, aiming to unite and inspire through the delivery of a diverse and innovative range of initiatives. The new ‘In the Community’ feature is all about the stories of the people they come into contact with. Today we hear from Amber Stamp-Dunstan…
I started my rugby journey with the Dragons in the late months of 2017 - it’s been a lot of laughs and special memories since!
I first started playing rugby at six when my parents took me to my local club and, after leaving at 12 due to having to cross over to the female game, I played for a Drybrook and Gloucestershire County.
At 16 my playing days were cut short with a shoulder dislocation which required two operations, that unfortunately didn’t resolve the problem.
This is where I turned to coaching in a bid to stay involved in the game! I went on work experience with Janice Chappell (who can take a huge amount of credit for my ‘rugby journey’). We went around schools delivering sessions, running matches and giving children an insight into the game.
It was incredible to hear all of Janice’s experiences and it was from these conversations and observing her work, where I learnt all of my coaching styles and developed myself as an individual.
From this week I was inspired to volunteer as a community ambassador for the Dragons where I met the rest of the community team, who I now call great friends.
It’s amazing to see how the experiences at Rodney Parade can inspire thousands of children each year which is a massive motivating factor behind the community department.
The work Mike and Janice have put in over the years has created a special feeling around Rodney Parade match days and the school sessions which continue to be the highlight of young people’s weeks. This has never gone unnoticed and their reputation amongst the rugby community is one to be proud of.
The team even helped me land a job with Monmouthshire Sports Development through providing me references as well as the knowledge and experiences to kick start my own sports career.
I can never thank the community department enough for helping me kickstart my own rugby journey, but for also creating memories that will last a lifetime.
From the confidence I have gained through these roles, I now have started refereeing this season. I officiate a range of different games at Level 2 and was even lucky enough to be invited along as an official for the November international between Wales women and Crawshays.
I am now excited to see where the next chapter of my rugby journey will take me both through refereeing and the Dragons!