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...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Women's international rugby: ¡Viva la Revolución!

There are signs that the patience of women rugby internationals is beginning to snap, with these top level international athletes becoming increasingly fed up are being treated as second class citizens by their unions.

Spanish women protest in May
You will remember the Spanish rugby players demonstration before the FIRA European Championship final - in their cases about the disparity between the amount of preparation the men's team were given compared to the women.

Brooke Hilditch: Protest leader
Now, in Canada, three of the nation's senior team have pulled out of the their Nation's Cup squad days before the tournament is due to start. The reason? Because, in a year when Rugby Canada has spent C$1.8 million the men's national team, everyone selected for the women's team has had to find C$2,900 of their own money before they could play. And this for a tournament to be played in Canada (apparently the U20s had to find C$4,100 each to play in their Nations Cup last week!).

It is - simply - indefensible. Canada's women are 6th in the world - is their men's team likely to reach these heights? Ever? Hardly! Rugby Canada spokesmen have spoken about the lack of funds at this stage in the women's four year cycle, but will members of their men's team be faced with similar demands next year? Do Canadian men's age group team have to cough up? Silly questions, really!

I guess there is always a danger that some unions would rather cancel their women's programme rather than offer any equality of funding or support, so protest can be a calculated risk - but it is great to see that some women in some parts of the world are no longer content to make do with the scraps that fall from the table. 

¡Viva la Revolución!

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