Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Monday, July 16, 2007

RFU Presidents XV Awards presentation : Katie's speech and a few photos

Katie has just set off on a 'Music Tour' around Paris including a visit to Euro Disney to 'play' there. Whether we are talking about playing music or playing on the various attractions is, of course, another matter but I am pretty sure that, on this occasion, it's not playing rugby!

Anyway, after the presentation on Friday, she was asked to publish the speech she had made so, before she left for the week in Paris, she wrote it down and asked me to put it on the blog for her ...

"In March 2004 I wasn't a sporty person. I definitely wasn't a rugby player. In fact, I'm not even sure that I knew women's rugby existed. I was the kind of person who always got level 4s in P.E. when everyone else was getting level 6s. I was short, I wore glasses, I had terrible hand-eye coordination and I took a long time to get changed! By the time I finally got out onto the pitch, I just wasn't any good. I tried my little heart out but I just couldn't do sport. Rugby changed all that.

This isn't true of everyone here at Letchworth - some of the girls are born sportswomen; for some sport is their life, for others it's their hobby. We have tall girls, short girls, big girls, small girls, girls who dress differently, like different music, come from different towns and have different friends. Through rugby, I have met people from as far away as Canada and been on tour with people whom, without rugby, I probably would never have met, let alone talked to.

And rugby has given us here something much more than friendship, we are a team and we support one another. If I'm having a bad time at the bottom of a ruck, I know one of these girls will come and help me; if I'm injured or I've been fouled, I know someone will be there to pull me up and, if I make a bad decision out there (which I admit happens sometimes!), I know that one of these guys will be there to pat me on the back and tell me to forget about it.

When John first mentioned his blog idea, I suppose I thought the same as everyone else - great; no more having to store a screwed up newsletter in my kit bag and hope it doesn't get too muddy; no more texting people the night before a match to say, "Please say you were listening at training because I can't remember what time to meet!" but in reality the blog has become so much more than that. I mean, yes, we do get our information, dates and times, maps and directions, but we get much more than that, too. There are bits full of nostalgia and comedy, articles which have nothing to do with rugby and some which have everything to do with rugby, not just for us girls but for boys, men and women, too; and not just in Letchworth but around the world. The blog gets over 2000 hits a month and has global recognition; people comment on it, contribute to discussions, advise us and congratulate us - what we've created is no longer merely a means of online communication; it's an online community in itself.

And that's what rugby is - a community - and it changes people. It's changed me. That little girl who first came here to Letchworth Rugby Club in March 2004 holding her Dad's hand and looking scared is a completely different person from the one standing before you. I'm still short, I still wear glasses and I'm never exactly going to be Miss Sportswoman of the Year, but I can now consider myself a sporty person. I wear my rugby shirts to school with pride and bore my mates to death with blow-by-blow accounts of the last match, I've learned not to judge people by what they look like and have been taught how to communicate with people from all walks of life, all cultures and all cliques. I've become a person who is confident in herself, confident enough to stand up and talk to a room full of people. Rugby gave me that.

I even learned to be confident enough to approach MPs ...... which leads me on, conveniently, to our next speaker - our local MP, Mr Oliver Heald."

Katie Alcock, Letchworth U17s Girls Captain 2006/7

And finally to a few photos of the presentations ......

Katie holds on tight to the magnificent glass trophy
presented by Mr Brian Williams,
RFU Junior Vice President

Meanwhile, John receives an equally magnificent cheque
from Mr Williams as Mr Oliver Heald, MP applauds

Finally, here are a couple of photos of the Letchworth Girls Rugby display which featured favourite pages from the blog over the last year :


  1. Katie -
    A fabulous speech.

    Swaffham Rugby

  2. wonderful speech!!!


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