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...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Double blow for schoolgirl rugby in North Herts

Threatened cuts to School Sports Partnerships nationwide have been well covered in the press and on TV in recent weeks - a scheme that has been a very significant effect on introducing girls to rugby in the county (most of the inter-school tournaments would probably have never happened without our local schemes), however news in this week's Comet could result in an even bigger blow, especially in our area.

If the report on Page 2 is correct, North Herts District Council will be withdrawing all funding from Herts Youth Games - presumably from 2012, if not 2011. Even leaving aside the huge irony involved in cancelling support for the biggest local multi-sport event in the same year that the Olympics are taking place less than 40 miles away, this could have a major effect on rugby in schools - especially primary schools.

Herts Youth Games includes tag rugby tournaments for both boys and girls - indeed overall the Games tend to favour girls sport, with significantly more girls events than boys, providing support at just the age when many girls start to give up sport. What is more by having a girls rugby event in a male-dominated sport like rugby it encourages girls to try out a sport that they might never normally consider.

Yes, its tag. Yes, the current HYG is a U11 event which doesn't quite work with current RFUW age bands, but anything that puts rugby balls in the hands of schoolgirls cannot be bad. And every spring just about every primary school in the area puts together a boys AND a girls team, and takes part in at least one - often more than one - tag tournament, with the top girls going into the North Herts team.

The question and worry must be that - without that HYG goal to aim at - will schools bother? And if they do, without the carrot of a girls competition, even if they do will they bother putting together girls teams, or involving girls?

And - of course - it goes without saying that Letchworth Girls would never have come into existence without Herts Youth Games.  HYG works on so many levels - it would be a huge blow if it disappeared.

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