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, January 10, 2011

Rugger Girls: Part 5

From the book "Rugger Girls" written by Jacques B. Corti and Yaneth Pinilla. Foreword by Serge Betsen. Translated from Des Filles en Ovalie.


Of all the referees, one decided not to accept these ban impossed by the FFR. His name was Henry Fléchon. A former manager and coach of junior club USB (we are back again to Bourg-en-Bresse!). He decided to take the side of girls - "If sport can abolish social differences, I hope it can also abolish the differences between men and women who share the same sport" said he at the time.

This is the beginning of a rich and active journey that Fléchon took during the eleven years of his involvement with women's rugby. He was one of the engines of its development and its acceptance until he died on November 13, 1986.

For the 1974-1975 season, Henry Fléchon, became President of Violets Bressan, from Bourg-en-Bresse, and 20 June 1975 he was appointed President of the AFRF (French Women's Rugby Association). He began a personal campaign to win recognition for women's rugby, meeting Albert Ferrasse (President of the FFR) repeatedly, but initially without result.


"The AFRF bulletin, dated January 23, 1976, tells us where women's rugby was - geographically - at the time. Affiliated subscribers were listed in this issue, with officials (including names, addresses and telephone numbers) of the twelve existing clubs then:
  • Rugby Féminin Gersois
  • Les Violettes Bressanes (The "Violets")
  • US Carmaux
  • Castres Rugby Club Féminin
  • AS Champagnolaise (The "Gentianes")
  • Rugby Club Féminin Montauban
  • Pau Rugby Club Féminin
  • Rugby Club Féminin du Lauragais
  • Rugby Féminin Romagnatois
  • Toulouse Femina Sport
  • Coquelicots Tournusiens (The "Poppies")
  • Ovalie Féminin Valencia (The "White Dragons")
Obviously it goes without saying that in this little world a large-scale community life develops, and this becomes a characteristic of the early women's rugby. While volunteering has always been the driving aim of Act 1901 organisations (voluntary bodies created under French law), this is hardly a novel scenario: an animated and active national collection of local clubs had been created.

Although the AFRF grew, the idea of integrating the FFR was not abandoned.

At this time Celine-Marie Bernard obtained her diploma as a physical education teacher, and she also now took part in the meetings with Albert Ferrasse, President of the FFR. "Once, in 1977, we went to his home in Agen. Once again we explained the importance of girls playing rugby. I made my own case, saying that - as a PE teacher - I wanted to be trained to teach or promote rugby. He began to understand that the future of rugby could go through this kind of training ". However, one thing he said remains in her memory: "He flatly said, 'I accept that women want to play rugby, but I do not understand why'".

Exchanges between the two then began to bear fruit. In 1978, Marie-Celine Bernard became the first woman to participate in training with FFR. She studied for the first level federal coaching certificate in Dijon and remembers: "It was interesting, although I was the only woman named on the course. They wondered really what I was doing there. Anyway, it is a never-ending debate: we had to prove our abilities again and again on the field." Celine-Marie Bernard pursued her training, passing her Level 2, and then - in 1985 - the Federal Level 3".

Extract from the book "Rugger Girls", Editions Atlantica (2005), Written by Jacques Corte / Yaneth Pinilla B. Foreword by Serge Betsen.


This is the latest chapter, published by DFO today. The website promises that future chapters will appear every week, and they will appear here as they are published.

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