Girl power is thriving at Shrewsbury
In just two years, the girls’ section at Shrewsbury Rugby Club has become a phenomenon.
What started in May 2017 as an idea from a group of mums and dads to keep their daughters involved in the sport is now made up of more than 60 girls across three successful teams at under-18s, 15s and 13s.
They have just celebrated the end of their second season, in which the under-13s won the league unbeaten, and lead coach David Tozer said: “The section really is in rude health.
“A handful of mums and dads decided to start a girls section in order for their daughters to be able to continue to play rugby as the current RFU regulations mean that mixed rugby ceases at 12 years old.
“With RFU advice and support, a handful of girls of all ages began to meet weekly and through the summer of 2017, numbers began to swell. Come the start of the season, 12 girls ventured out to Telford Hornets, for their first fixture, proudly sporting their Shrewsbury shirts.
“The score was far less important than the experiences and memories forged on that day, and with more fixtures planned, the word spread fast.
“An important thing at this time was the presence of RFU coaches in the secondary schools in Shropshire, whose job was to deliver, fun, safe rugby during PE lessons to pupils of all ages.
“This resulted in girls from all schools in Shrewsbury heading down to the club, swelling the numbers further.”
Last season saw 30 matches played across all three age grades.
The under-18s had two girls, Tayleur Evans and Louise Bevan, selected for elite training at Worcester’s centre of excellence.
The under-15s competed in the National Cup for the first time, with Emily Pye and Kiakelly Qalovaki going on to play for The North Midlands U15s.
The under-13s won the Stourport Sevens tournament as well as winning the league.
“What our girls all have in common is a desire to be part of something different; that they can call their own,” added Tozer, whose daughter Frances plays for the under-13s.
“The highlight for us is seeing the girls exceeding their own expectations.”
The girls’ section will next be getting together on Sunday, September 8 for training at the club’s Sundorne Castle base.
There will also be taster sessions for newcomers to the sport, and anyone looking for more information can visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/shrewsbury