Latest News

Rugby legend Sam Warburton set to judge virtual dog show in aid of NSPCC Cymru

Rugby legend Sam Warburton set to judge virtual dog show in aid of NSPCC Cymru

Date: 19th October 2020 | By: national

It’s great to hear that Welsh rugby legend – and two-times British and Irish Lions captain – Sam Warburton, will be helping one of our key partner charities, NSPCC Cymru, by judging photographs of the nation’s beloved pooches at their virtual dog show, being launched today, Monday 19 October, by the children’s charity’s fundraising volunteers.

Dog lovers are encouraged to enter snaps and video clips of their dogs into the competition in an effort to win the coveted title of ‘Best in Show’, which will be selected by the Welsh former international rugby union player.

There are eight categories for four-legged friends across the nation to top, ranging from best rescue dog to waggiest tail, and it will be Sam who has the difficult decision of choosing a winner for each, which will be announced at the end of November.

It is £4 to submit an entry per category, which is the amount it costs to fund a child or young person’s call to Childline, which has two bases located in Wales, in Prestatyn and Cardiff, from which volunteer counsellors provide support.

During the lockdown and throughout the pandemic Childline has provided a vital lifeline for children and young people across the country. During 1 April – 30 September Childline delivered 1,363 counselling sessions to children and young people in Wales about mental and emotional health. It remains the top concern for children and young people contacting the service.

The easing of lockdown increased anxiety for some young people, worried about catching Covid-19, being behind with schoolwork, friendship issues, and pre-existing mental health problem re-surfacing as they returned to school.

Sam says: “Everyone who donates £4 to enter a photograph or video into the competition will be funding a child or young person’s call to Childline – that’s pretty amazing, because it continues to be a lifeline for children and young people in these uncertain times.

“If there is the right support in place to help children cope and recover then these experiences will not define a child’s life forever, and that’s why the NSPCC’s Still Here Frontline campaign is so vital in making sure that the charity can still be here for every child.

“Those that know me well will know that I’m a huge fan of dogs, and as a dog owner myself I think this is a really fun way to help raise money for the NSPCC.

“I am looking forward to seeing how creative people are with their entries - I don’t think it’s going to be straightforward picking out the winners.”

The competition has been organised by the volunteers of the St Hilary District of the NSPCC’s fundraising branch in Cardiff. It launches today (Monday 19 October) and will run for three weeks, with the competition closing on Sunday 8 November.

The photo categories are for dirtiest dog, best puppy, best veteran (over nine years old), funniest dog, best rescue dog, and dog we have loved – as a tribute to treasured dogs that owners have had to say goodbye to. In addition are two video categories for waggiest tail and cleverest dog.

“It’s been very difficult during these last six months to come up with fundraising ideas which comply with current regulations,” says Hilary Drew, Chair of the St Hilary NSPCC District.

“When the idea of a virtual dog show was shared I, along with my committee, thought it was just perfect.

“So many of us are dog lovers, and to include at this time, our beloved pets in raising much needed funds, to help support the children of wales, we thought what could be better?”

The winners of each category will win a £25 voucher, with a rosette and cup to be presented to ‘Best in Show’.

Hilary added: “I want to say a huge thank you to Sam for his continued support of the NSPCC in Wales, as his involvement in this competition is definitely the added boost we need.

“In addition to Sam, three local businesses have agreed to sponsor different categories and my thanks goes to Bespoke Classics, HDCS I.T Consultancy and the Bush Inn at St Hilary for their support.

“I am hoping supporters of the NSPCC will embrace this competition and enjoy, as much as we will, in putting their pet entrants forward. Let the fun commence!”

The NSPCC relies on public donations for 90% of its income, which is why fundraising is so crucial.

To enter, donate and access the terms and conditions of the competition, visit or alternatively entries should be sent to Entries should be titled and include a name of the dog and photographer, age (if under 18 years old), and category. People can only enter one picture per class.

Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit for advice.

Children can call Childline on 0800 11 11 from 7.30am to midnight from Monday to Friday or 9am to midnight on weekends. Or they can get in touch via