Women and Girls are Being Encouraged to Pick up a Rugby Ball

By Marsh

Posted 16/02/18

The Women’s Rugby World Cup took place in Ireland this year and saw the best teams from all around the world showcase their skill in a record breaking tournament. New Zealand were crowned champions as a record 2.65million people tuned in to watch the final and viewing figures peaked at an all-time high of 3.2million [1].

As women’s top level rugby is enjoying its time in the spotlight, more girls are being encouraged to pick up a ball at grassroots level.

Gateways to Rugby

To encourage beginners to get involved in the game, touch rugby clubs have popped up around the country. England rugby sponsor O2 run O2 Touch, a touch rugby league for adults. Penned as a way to keep fit whilst socialising, touch rugby is a way to garner enthusiasm for the full contact game.

Putting fun First

For children, a new approach called Kids First has been introduced to help children learn the rules and flow of rugby union at their own pace. Aimed at 6-13 year olds, Kids First prioritises fun over competition and allows children to build confidence in their ability. It’s hoped that the new scheme will encourage more kids to take part in XV-a-side games, once they’re comfortable and familiar with the rules [2].

Roping in the Pros

Local rugby clubs are doing their part too. Saracens has developed a programme for disabled youngsters that allows them to get involved in rugby [3]. The award winning HITZ programme uses rugby to help young people get back into education, vocational training, apprenticeships, and employment. Some of the clubs actively taking part in the programme include Sale Sharks, Wasps, Harlequins, Newcastle Falcons, Leicester Tigers, and Northampton Saints [4]. Premiership Rugby also runs camps at clubs throughout the summer for kids of all ages to experience the game from some of the best staff and players in the country [5].

A Wider Campaign

It’s not just rugby that females are being encouraged to participate in. Sport England’s “This Girl Can” campaign seeks to encourage women and girls to get involved in exercise and sport and forget about the judgement of others. The campaign so far has been a huge success with 2.8 million more women and girls taking up sport as a result [6].

Maintaining Play

Rugby Union has seen a steady increase in participants. [7] However the Red Roses fantastic display of skill throughout the World Cup could well continue the upward trend as women and girls alike pick up a rugby ball and scrum down.

Sources

[1] http://www.rwcwomens.com/news/276877
[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2016/06/13/getting-children-involved-in-rugby/
[3]
http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union-saracens-quartet-take-part-in-session-for-local-children-1-5114862
[4] http://www.salesharks.com/community/hitz/index.php#.WZMWWVGGOUk
[5] http://www.rugbycamps.co.uk/
[6] https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-features/news/2016/january/12/thisgirlcanbirthday/
[7] https://www.sportengland.org/media/11746/1x30_sport_16plus-factsheet_aps10.pdf


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Marsh
Posted 16/02/18

Author: Marsh

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