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 23, 2010

Alphonsi is Sportswoman of the Year

Its probably not much consolation for losing the World Cup final, but Maggi Alphonsi's performance in that tournament - aided in no small part by the success of the competition and the way it captured the public imagination - has resulted in her winning the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award.

Not only is this a terrific honour for Maggie, but it is the first time women's rugby has won such a high profile award. Several of her "opponents" for the award were far more well-known sportswomen from far more "high profile" sports, such as gymnastics, cycling, and the Winter Olympics.

Unfortunately the England team missed out on the team award. However, it is interesting to remember that - while Maggie's win came as a result of a public vote - the team award was made by a panel of "experts" and journalists, which maybe suggests that sports journos who are out of touch with the interests and views of the public?


  1. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Whilst I think Maggie is a very worthy winner of this award I think this is more to do with the rugby community wishing her this success and doing something about it rather that the public at large. For example see your post before this one. Equally I received emails from a number of people involved in the game (and at Saracens) explaining the award and encouraging me to vote, which I did.
    Sadly Womens Rugby is still a very small sport which is more likely the reason the team award went elsewhere.
    This award needs to be used to raise the profile of the sport and whilst Maggie's role with the RFU is very helpful the area she is working in is already active with girls teams compared to other areas. There remain wastelands where the RFU have allowed the game to go backwards from little or no support so maybe this award and the PR from it used well can re-ignite the game.
    Anyway back to the award itself I think her performance both on and off the field during the world cup was world class. The manner in which she and her team mates dealt with coming off second best in the final was a master class in what rugby is about, yes it hurt and you could see that but they were gracious in defeat. Class acts. Well done.

  2. I'd agree that there was a campaign from the rugby world to get Maggie the well-deserved award - but I strongly suspect that the same would have applied to the other sports as well!

    As for the team award - surely the size of a sport is irrelevant (or should be). It is the performance of the team that matters - otherwise you may as well give all these awards to football every year.

    The problem is that, from what I read, rugby journalists are far more ignorant (and actively dismissive) about about women's rugby that their equivalents in other sports.

  3. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Ok, fair point about the size of the sport.
    What's your take on using the PR from Maggie's award to kickstart the game in regions other that the very successful one which she is based in?

  4. I think the first thing to bear in mind is that Maggie is an amateur - she has to earn a living as well, so that will put a break on what she can do or how she can be used. And she will still want to play, train, etc!

    That aside, arguably RFUW should maybe look at releasing her from her purely regional job and maybe look at how they might use her as a nationwide ambassador, in some way.

    She cannot be everywhere though!


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