Abergavenny recently represented itself in its twin town of Beaupréau-en-Mauges, Maine-et-Loire in Western France; marking the strength of friendship between towns.

Representatives from Abergavenny, Vidreres (Spain) and Munsingen (Germany), came together in Beaupréau for the Europiad - a multi-day folk sports festival that offers opportunity to make and maintain international friendships.

The delegation from Abergavenny, which consisted of members from Abergavenny’s Twinning Association, Rhinos Football Club and Town Council, stood for the people of Abergavenny; bringing a bit of home to Beaupréau-en-Mauges.

Locals of Beaupréau last visited Abergavenny in 2018 before the Covid-19 Pandemic, which cemented the end of separation between the two towns.

The town Twinning movement started very soon after 1945, with the passionate support of mayors and citizens who vowed that Europe should never again be torn apart by war.

Although Twinning may seem like a “bygone” notion, the recent trip signified that Twinning is standing the test of time and going strong; building links and exchanges between individual towns and cities, bringing reconciliation and prosperity after years of conflict between nations.   

Following the success of the event, John Prosser, Chairperson of the Abergavenny Twinning Association, said: “Thirty three years of twinning with Beaupréau and the friendship is still going strong as demonstrated by the warm reception received by the Welsh delegation!

“It was good to see teams from Wales, France, Germany, and Spain taking part and the exciting exchange of ideas for future events. We look forward to the next visit from Beaupréau.”

On the Rhinos’ involvement, Simon Mansfield, Secretary of the Abergavenny Rhinos Football Club, further added: “As a club we were honoured to be invited by Beaupréau to take part in their recent Olympiads event alongside clubs from Germany, Spain, France and Rhinos (Wales) to celebrate the Olympics being held in Paris this year.”

Abergavenny Rhinos Under 14s made the town proud, winning the Europiad; overcoming stiff competition from Germany, Spain and France.

“The youngsters who represented Abergavenny and Aber rhinos where absolutely first class throughout the trip and events,” Simon continued. “We are so proud that our Under 14s despite tough opposition won the event.

“The trip was a great success and it was a fantastic experience for all involved. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents and players who attended. Also thank you to Mayor Anne Wilde, the town councillors and members of the twinning committee for their support during the weekend.” 

Abergavenny Town Councillor, Kyle Jamie Eldridge expressed his delight in the event. He said: “It was an honour to go to Beaupréau and go alongside a fantastic group of young people, who not only represented their town with enthusiasm and skill, but who made twinning stronger than ever by just being themselves.”

Pauline Dilay, one of the Beaupréau Twinning Organisers, fortified Kyle’s comment. She added: "Basically the experience was very exciting, we wanted to organise something for the youngsters of Beaupréau something they will never forget, around sports events and linguistic exchanges.  

“It worked very well thanks to the enthusiasm of the clubs here in Beaupréau and the wonderful host families who were ready to follow us in this adventure.”. 

To find out more about Twinning, please visit the Abergavenny Twinning Association Facebook Page or get in touch with your local town council if you are interested in living further afield.