Jason Jennings and family - keen members of Pembs Sharks Rugby Hub

Jason, Sarah and the girls at the beach
It would be fair to describe the Jennings family of Narberth as one where commitment to rugby is total because dad Jason played for many years in a very successful Otters’ team, and his wife Sarah played as a founder member of the club’s ladies, but more of that later.
Then there’s 14-year-old Olivia, Freya (12) and young Josie, who has already tested the water at under 7 level – so it is easy to see why the Jennings’ Clan are such a rugby loving family!

Long-time service as a player

Jason joined Narberth as an 8-year-old and never left because he is still involved in coaching now – and he played his final first-team match at 32 and final match  for the seconds at 36  he ended up with a fantastic tally of 217 1st team matches as proof of his loyalty to The Otters.

“It was a very special moment,” admitted Jason, “ when I reached 200 games and received my special cap awarded to everyone who reaches that milestone – and it is now framed and hanging on the wall in the hall back at home.
“I also played in some Otter teams which won the KO Cup and my favourite was obviously when we beat our old rivals Whitland at Pembroke because it was always nice to get one over on them – but I also played out of position, switching from second row to flanker, and I felt I had a good game against some very experienced players in that position.”
Back on the junior front Jason played for the club from under nine level right through to under 16s and was part of a strong youth team which lost in the age group final in his first year to Crymych at Haverfordwest – but two years later came good as they beat Whitland in Milford Haven with players of the calibre of John Bowen (later with Whitland), Tim Griffiths along with child hood friends Arwyn Mathew Williams and Dafydd Bowen

Three daughters – maintaining the rugby tradition by all starting  in Narberth

So, with so much rugby behind him it is small wonder that Jason is now delighted to see his three daughters following in dad’s footsteps, two playing for South Pembs Sharks’ Hub in their different age groups, starting with Olivia, who is 14.

“Olivia currently plays second row but is likely to end up as a flanker because of her ball-carrying and support play;  and she loves playing other sports too, like cricket . She also does life-saving in Tenby – in fact, anything but football,” says Jason with a typical chuckle!
“Then there’s Freya, who started off with an interest in ballet but soon found rugby and really enjoys playing in her role as a prop but I think she’s going to be a second row as she’s one of the tallest in the side. She was also interested in gymnastics and is also involved in life-saving at Tenby.
“And last but not least in terms of sport is Josie, who has already set out with Narberth under 7s but didn’t like tag rugby - she wants to start again with tackling  and also loves gymnastics – and is already showing the kinds of skill and enthusiasm towards the game that is a family trademark.

Coaching – Narberth Youth and The Sharks

The Narberth Youth team coached by Jason this campaign has shown a real improvement after a shaky start where they only had a bare 15 players to start their first two games but have gradually grown in number and showed improvement so that by the end, they had an average of 20/21 training regularly and results were beginning to improve.

“We even had a couple of under 16 players able to help out and if they boys can stick together then next season will see them improve again,” Jason told us.
Jason also started coaching girls at the Pembs Sharks’ Hub last season after taking his daughters along and getting involved with the under 12s.
“There is a huge commitment from coaches and parents, with all the girls at every level enjoying their involvement – but there is always room for more of both, he says with a chuckle – and his enthusiasm is clearly infectious!
So that makes four members of the Jennings clan that we have mentioned so far but perhaps it is fair to say we have left what Jason and the girls describe as the most important until last – and that is wife/mum Sarah, who also played rugby when she was a No 8 with The Narberth Ladies’ team which sprung up in the early 2000s.

“She makes sure that we all have the right kit for each session or match and is the best organiser and taxi-driver we know. We describe her as the glue that keeps everything stuck neatly together and we couldn’t do it without her.”
High praise indeed from four very keen rugby players/coach and we at ‘PembrokeshireSport.co.uk’ can only say it is a pleasure to feature such a lovely family in our magazine and long may they continue to gain so much pleasure at The Pembrokeshire Sharks Hub, along with all the others so heavily involved there!

FreyaThe Jennings family having a good time