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, September 15, 2008

Rugby and women's sport gets their own MPs

Government is important to our game - not only because it is (one way or another) the source of a sizable amount of the funding that girls and women's rugby receives - but also because it can make things happen by applying pressure in the right areas. There's nothing that concentrates the mind of sports adminsitrators more than Members of Parliament taking an interest in what they are doing. 

And now - as well as our own Oliver Heald (who has dropped in to see us on a couple of occasions) - there are two other MPs who will be paying particular interest in girls' rugby over the next year. 

Mark Lancaster, Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North East will be the "MP for rugby union" this season, "examining the work of the RFU and RFUW in depth this season". He has attended the Nations Cup last month and had a meeting with Rosie Williams, and is planning to attend some future RFUW events as well as his local community coaching team. He'll also probably drop in on the odd RFU event as well.

Mark, who was elected in 2005, seems more a cricket and soccer man, but has begun to take an interest in rugby over the past year - asking a minister how many people play the game, for example - and he does occasionally drop in on his local rugby events, such as the (men's) Olney 7s. How much he knows about girls and women's rugby at grassroots level is debatable, so if you want to drop him a line to educate him about the problems and challenges of your game as you see them why not write to him here.

Barbara Keeley, Labour MP for Worsley (which somewhere near Manchester, apparently), will also be interested to hear from anyone as she will be shadowing the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, who have been mentioned on this blog before (lots of excellent, well researched, reports that no-one ever seems to read). 

Barbara was also elected in 2005 and has been pretty active in Parliament championing both girls and youth sport - demanding to know, for example, what the government is doing to increase the number of girls playing sport, how many girls take part in sport, and the importance of competitive sport in schools. She does seem very well informed about girls and women's sport in general - but maybe less about challenges specific to rugby union (she's a bit of a rugby league fan). If you want to educate her about the game you can drop her a line here.

All this is part of a scheme run by Sport England which links 16 MPs with sports or sporting bodies that they have chosen themselves - so they should be genuinely interested in any information they receive.

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