Ulster and Ireland Women’s rugby star Ashleigh Baxter caused a scrum at Ballysillan Leisure Centre recently when she arrived to help out at a kids’ coaching session.
Ashleigh Baxter, a member of the successful Ireland Women’s team that won the Six Nation Grand Slam for the first time earlier this year, brought along the trophy to show the children at Ballysillan Leisure Centre.
Ulster Rugby has been working in partnership with Belfast City Council to deliver rugby tasting sessions to both boys and girls at a number of centres across the city.
At Ballysillan up to 60 children are taking part and the Chairman of the Parks and Leisure Committee, Councillor Gareth McKee, said: “It is exciting for young people to interact with their sporting heroes and heroines. It helps get the message across that sports are accessible to everyone.
“We have been in partnership with Ulster Rugby to help develop the sport among young people for a couple of years and to have someone of Ashleigh’s stature give up time to come and help coach is much appreciated.
“She can give them a dream, something to aim for and encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle among our young people.”
Ashleigh, a speedy winger/full-back, began playing rugby as a 14-year-old and in her second season as an adult player was starting for both Ulster and Ireland.
This project has been made possible due to the generous support of the NI Executive and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure through the ‘Promoting Equality, Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion through Sport’ programme.