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...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Future looks good for girls rugby in Herts

Around 90 girls aged from 11-18 turned up at Welwyn today for the county trials - the largest turnout since 2005 (when we had around the same numbers, but from just two age groups) - a reassuring recovery from last year when, at U18 level at least, numbers fell to worrying levels. We can be pretty confident that girls' rugby will continue to florish in the county. 

At club level things remain less stable. Players numbers at individual clubs rise and fall - teams strong one year can all but vanish twelve months later and it is challenge to understand why. Maybe once a team is established it becomes hard for new players to break in? Maybe teams based on men's clubs spreads girls around too thinly - but what alternative is there? Getting clubs to work together is amazingly hard as rivalries, particularly between neighbouring clubs, can be very strong and the lack of trust difficult to overcome. Whatever the problem is, the overall strength of girls rugby at county level shows that if we could only find a way to create stable clubs then the game would explode!

Further good news is that Herts 7s has a venue, not just for this season but next season too. The fifth Herts girls sevens, and the sixth Herts girls rugby festival, will be at Old Albanians this season, and next one will be in Bishops Stortford. The reason why this season will see the fifth and sixth festivals is that the first ever festival, which took place Hemel in June 2004, was a tag rugby tournament. Only in the following year did it become contact sevens.

Letchworth will have had teams at all six festivals - a record we share with... actually I'm not sure as most of the clubs that were at Hemel (such as Hemel, Cheshunt, Stevenage and Hitchin) did not keep going (though Stevenage have since reformed - for the third time!). Katie, Carla and Hayley are therefore possibly unique in having played at every one of the five festivals played to date.

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