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...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The forgotten award

Rugby's biggest awards evening took place last night - the eighth IRB Awards. All the headlines were about Shane Williams winning the Player of the Year (no female nominations... but then there never have been), New Zealand team of the year (the men... obviously), and various players and teams being inducted into the Hall of Fame (which, needless to say, remains male only - not least because no woman has ever been nominated).

However, buried deep in the awards (and I mean deep - only one of the IRB's many press releases and web pages on the subject even mention it) was the one award out of thirteen which recognised the existence of women's rugby - the curiously named "IRB International Women's Personality of the Year Award" (can the IRB not bring themselves to call women "players"?). And - in a night dominated by New Zealanders - it was won by an Englishwoman.

So congratulations to Carol Isherwood - former Performance Director at the RFUW until her surprise departure a year ago, and now Sports Development Manager in Westminster. The IRB describes her as the "one of the driving forces behind England’s success on and off the field over the past decade and a champion of the global development of the Women’s Game". 

The only other coverage of her award I can trace has been in a short press release from the RFUW which expands on Carol's 10 years of achievements at the RFUW by saying that she was "heavily involved in working to develop an effective partnership with the RFU and making the women’s game sustainable for players, clubs and at the elite level of the game". What neither the IRB nor, curiously, the RFUW mention are small details such as six Grand Slams and two World Cup finals in those ten years - a record possibly unmatched anywhere in rugby, male or female (unless anyone can suggest someone who has a better record?) - arguably deserving consideration for the Hall of Fame rather than a single line buried deep in a two page IRB press release.

Past winners of the IRB International Women's Personality of the Year Award:
2001: Shelley Rae (England)
2002: Monique Hirovanaa (New Zealand) 
2003: Kathy Flores (USA)
2004: Donna Kennedy (Scotland)
2005: Farah Palmer (New Zealand)
2006: Maggi Alphonsi (England)
2007: Sarah Corrigan (Australia)

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