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...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Rugby at Herts Youth Games under threat

Rugby at Herts Youth Games - its where we came from, and remains the biggest and most effective means of getting girls to onto the rugby field. We might debate the age ranges - would a return to U14 instead of U12s better mesh in with current age bands? - but without question if tag did not exist in Youth Games schools would not enter the many tag events around the county in anything like the numbers they currently do.

But it is strongly rumoured that the RFU (note - not RFUW) no longer believe that U12 tag fits in with their development plans, ie. their plans for the development of (presumably) BOY's rugby. So this could be the last year we see rugby at HYG  (or, come to that, every other Youth Games in the country).

This is no great surprise - if they aren't playing contact by 12 then there is no hope for boys to move into club rugby - there is no exit route for them from tag into contact rugby. Most boys' clubs will have enough players at the U12 age band already able to play contact without seeing the need to set aside time to introduce complete beginners.

But none of that applies to girls. For the most part we expect no previous experience - for girls rugby we just want girls keen enough to give the game a go. Most girls start at 12+ - it would be nice if it was not so, but no-one in officialdom is doing much to counter the loss of girls between 9 and 12. Any development plan for GIRLS must be based around introducing them the game between the ages of 12 and 14 - and Youth Games is perfect for that.

So - will those running Youth Games in the UK listen only to the male-dominated RFU? Or will they realise that the interests of girls are different? 

There is hope - cricket is now girls only at HYG, so (if the boys don't want it) maybe rugby could stay, even if it has to be a girls only event?

Please pass your views on this to Tony Marmow at, who is running this year's event, copied in to Leanne Fair (if you are in North Herts) or your local organiser if elsewhere.

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