RUGBY players from Newport and Ebbw Vale won’t be the only ones wearing shorts at their matches next season.

Photographers Neil Roberts (Ebbw Vale RFC and Jesters Rugby) and Simon Latham (Newport RFC and Knights Rugby) will be wearing shorts to each of the Welsh Rugby Union Principality Premiership games they will be covering during 2019/2020 to raise money for charity spina bifida and hydrocephalus charity Shine.

They will be joined by Tredegar-born Alan Skeates,photographer for North Wales side RGC1404, and Dan Minto, photographer for Carmarthen Quins.

South Wales Argus:

Neil Roberts (photographer for Ebbw Vale RFC and Jesters Rugby)

Mr Roberts, on behalf of the quartet, who are calling their fundraising effort #GetShorty2, said: “During the 18/19 season we wore shorts to each game we covered and raised £1,300 for Prostate Cancer.

“We have decided to do it all again as the winter weather was on the mild side, so it would be good to experience some proper cold winter weather.

“We decided to support Shine as I have seen the good work the charity does to support good family friends of mine whose seven-year-old daughter Sara has spina bifida.

“The #GetShorty2 challenge will begin on the first day of the 2019/20 Principality Premiership season and will end when the referee blows their whistle at the end of the final game of the season.”

South Wales Argus:

Simon Latham (photographer for Newport RFC and Knights Rugby)

Paul Walbyoff, who lives in Caldicot, is Sara’s dad and said: “I was so pleased when Neil told me #GetShorty2 would be for Shine. I don’t envy Neil and his fellow team members in wearing shorts to games.

“As an Ebbw Vale supporter for many years I know how cold it can get at Eugene Cross Park, so I wish them good luck.

“Many people may not have heard of Shine. This will be a fundraiser and a great opportunity to raise awareness of work and support Shine provides to Sara, myself, my wife Liz and our wider family.”


Some of the work Shine does has included lobbying Parliament to fortify flour with Folic Acid. It was announced during Shine’s annual awareness week last October that a consultation would take place.

At the beginning of May, Shine had a Folic Acid awareness day and again met with MP’s to press for the consultation to begin. The consultation is now due to begin before the Summer Recess.

MP Jessica Morden (Newport East) has been a great support in raising the subject of Spina Bifida and the call for fortification of flour along with Nick Smith MP (Blaenau Gwent) and Owen Smith MP (Pontypridd).

South Wales Argus:

Alan Skeates (photographer for North Wales side RGC1404) and Dan Minto (Carmarthen Quins photographer)

“Shine Cymru Ser Bach (Little Stars) group hold regular days out so we get to meet up with other parents to share experiences and Sara is able to meet up with other children, form friendships, talk about their conditions and share experiences,” added Mr Walbyoff.

“Liz and I encourage Sara to be active and not let her condition stop her from achieving. Sara is a member of Valleys Gymnastics Disability Squad which has helped her confidence grow.”

Shine provides specialist support from before birth and throughout the life of anyone living with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, as well as to parents, families, carers and professional care staff. Shine enables people to get the best out of life, which is made possible by their supporters.

Fundraising efforts such as #GetShorty2 help individuals and families in communities across Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

The #GetShorty2 just giving page is up and running and has already raised £75. Find it at