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, September 20, 2011

So... Where now with the Letchworth Girls' blog?

A new season has begun, and its time maybe to review where this blog is going.

It was originally created as a news system for the players of the Letchworth Girls teams, but that purpose has rather ended. I don't have any real link with the girls teams (well, team - there is just a U15 section this year) now. None of the girls I knew now play for the club - everyone is now too old! - so I get no news about what they are doing - and I am not sure how many of them read this (if any).

However, lots of "former legends" do still read this, and it is a great reminder of six or so incredible years we had, starting - as it does - during the second season, and taking in all the triumphs and enormous fun we all had. Every player - certainly from the "originals" - appears in here, somewhere or other. Its packed with memories and so needs to be preserved just for that. The fact that articles from four or five years ago are still being read shows that some people value it, anyway!

Its also a great way of letting everyone know about what former legends are doing now, in the rugby careers, and if we are ever going to get that mythical reunion then this is where it would be organised.

But more important than that the blog has always been read - and still is read two or three thousand times a month - by many people with no connection with the club at all. The little filler stories have taken over and without doubt what appears on here gets noticed. Quite why I have no idea - why the national governing body would even read a small club blog never ceases to amaze me, but they have always done and (going by the feedback on my reports of the summer's Nations Cup) still do!

Reason being, I guess, that communication - true communication (in the sense of a two-way exchange) - within the game in England remains lousy, especially the junior game where even the most basic information tends to be transmitted by rumour as much as anything else. And as for exchange of views - criticism, discussion, debate - there is none of that. There remains a centralised control-freakery when it comes to the domestic game in England that remains astonishing (and no, Julia Hutton, I do not mean you - you are wonderful. My absolute hero. And I mean that - honestly). Coaches, parents and players really are scared to speak their minds, and at least this blog allows them to do that - even anonymously.

If I am proud of anything that this blog has achieved it is to hear that it these debates have, from time to time, annoyed those at the centre - at least that means they have had cause to think about what they are doing. Anyone who ever writes a blog (or magazine or newspaper) that a central authority likes should pack it in immediately! Doesn't mean that any policy has ever been changed as a result - indeed from time to time Twickenham has gone out of its way to say how they have not listened to any internet blogs - but I live in hope that it might have had some subliminal influence. Maybe.

Yes, at times I get things wrong - almost invariably because of the need to fill some vast unbridged chasm caused by a complete lack of information (again, not your fault JH). It is amazing, but true, that - for example - England autumn tests with France have still not be officially announced (at least in England - they have been an openly discussed fact in France for months), and as for the U13 nonsense... So I guess and speculate and try to make some sense out of smoke-signals emerging from TW2. Better that than silence - and just occasionally it does seem to spark some movement. Mind you, these days its just as likely to be Dublin 2 that raises the ire, though the IRB obviously have more sense than to take any notice of this at all, Indeed is anyone St Stephen's Green knew that this blog existed I'd be ever so slightly worried about them.

So... where now? If there were a range of other, real, news sources; if the game was open to discussion and people were not afraid to let their views be known; if the media at large gave the women's game a fraction of the coverage it deserves; if two- to three-thousand people a month were not reading this "irrelevant little blog" (that is the right quote, RW?) then I'd be more than happy to stop. But - apart from ScrumQueens - we are no nearer all that than we were in 2004.

A change of name? Ideally, yes - but regular readers know the blogs name, and those that don't find it via subject searches anyway. And it also honours the achievements of greatest bunch of young people you could have ever wished to meet.

So, we go on. If you want fact and information about women's and girls' rugby in Hertfordshire (and occasionally England generally), use the Herts Girls' blog. If you want to follow the international game, turn to ScrumQueens. If you want discussion, debate, speculation, rumour, opinion, and "occasional sage-like ramblings" (thank you anon from TW2) then come here. And if you want to start or contribute to any rumours or discussions yourself... carry on sending the comments. Good or bad. I welcome criticism...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:58 PM

    John, we've never met or even spoken but please keep this going, it is essential reading for anyone interested in girls rugby at all levels. You have highlighted to me, and no doubt many others, so many issues of which we would never have been otherwise aware.
    The lack of informaton from the RFUW getting to the level of those organising training, teams, matches, CB is not good. Routes to feed back to the centre is even worse and hopefully the centre does read this even if they don't like it, and may actually realise it is a good form of 2 way communication. I am a club and CB manager from outside your CB and Division, but find this a thought provoking source of opinion; I don't agree with everything on here, but it does provke thought and, for the first time for me, comment. So from me some of the highlights/opinions from the last few months as a manager, parent and observer:
    1. While the new league system didn't work for everyone last season, it did for my club, giving us more matches against many new opponents.
    2. Our stand out U15 match last season was away against Letchworth, a competetive, highly skilled encounter which ended in a draw.
    3. The new divisional set up was excellent and the festival at Hartpury was a revelation. Superb organisation and facilities with several potential England players on view.
    4. Having seen her play in several matches last season, Syd Gregson was the best U15 full back in the country.
    5. The London Irish & London Divisional No.8 was the best overall U15 I watched last season.
    6. The U13 debacle continues with the RFUW clearly, still out of touch with the realities on the ground and if not careful, this will destroy U15 girls rugby at a stroke.
    7. I encourage others to be brave enough to put their comments and responses as well!


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