St. Mary’s College RFC celebrated 10 years of Women’s Rugby in the Club in ‘Grand’ style at the weekend with Ireland’s Grand Slam Captain Fiona Coghlan and team mate Nora Stapleton in attendance. IRFU Women’s Rugby Chairperson, Mary Quinn, was also in attendance for what was a fun filled and proud celebration.
In that ten years Women’s Rugby has gone from strength to strength. Ten years ago the women’s team began with a few girls eager to get women playing in their local club.
This year the women’s Senior Team reaffirmed its position in the AIL Division One. This season also saw the start of a women’s development team for the first time.
This has enhanced the momentum and energy of the women’s squad in the Club, extending opportunities to absolute beginners to try out Rugby, with some even going on to play with the Senior Team.
The Ten year celebration also marked the launch of the Youth Girls Programme for girls between the ages of 13 and 18, reaching out to the next generation and the future stars of Women’s Rugby in Ireland.
Club President Michael Fanagan hailed the celebrations: ”Congratulations to all involved in Women’s Rugby over the past 10 years here in St. Mary’s RFC. With the continued support of the club and community, we hope to go from strength to strength over the coming years. We are all very excited at what the future holds for Women’s Rugby in our club”
Women’s Senior Captain Ann Marie Donovan is also thankful to the Club and local community for their support and looks forward to further progress in the future. ”Women’s Rugby is now one of the fastest growing sports in Ireland but it has been blossoming at St. Mary’s RFC over the last 10 years.
“We hope that with the continued support of the Club and the passion and commitment from a fantastic group of women and girls who put on the St. Mary’s jersey week in week out, we remain at the forefront of women’s club rugby in Ireland”.
Donovan feels it an honour to be captain, particularly during these exciting times at St. Mary’s. “Having the opportunity to captain the squad in 2012/13 was not just an opportunity to give back to a club that has given me so many great memories and friends, it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and it is an honour to be captain as we mark ten years of Women’s Rugby in this remarkable club”.
For Susan Carty it was the start of an amazing journey. “I joined the club almost 10 years ago. During that time I had the privilege of captaining the team. I was encouraged by teammates to get involved in the Leinster Women’s Committee and that started a journey that led to a career in the Game. In my job as the International Rugby Board Women’s Development Manager I enjoy continued support from team mates and the club”.