As a part of the IRFU “Give it a Try” campaign Belfast Harlequins Womens Rugby Club in Deramore Park Belfast, hosted a joint Junior and Senior rugby open session recently.
After much facebook and twitter activity, word of mouth and good old fashined “bringing a mate”, Quins were delighted with a turnout of 46 at the session and were extremely lucky to be joined by 4 special guests Irish International 15s and 7s duo Ashleigh Baxter and Nikki Caughey and Ulster prop Ilse Van Staden, there to not only illustrate the pathway to bigger things in rugby, but also that everyone has to start there rugby journey somewhere… and for the 16 rookie players attending, that story was started that night!… But our last guest? Well that was just the Womens 6 Nations Trophy… and everyone wanted a photo with that!
In what was a fantastic evening of mixed skills and drills to give the rookies a flavour of womens rugby, games of touch offered an insight into how the game is played in a non contact situation.
All in all the session run by Head Coach Ryan Milligan was very well recieved. Pizza afterwards was certainly well recieved with a great chance for the players to get to know each other and enjoy some of what Quins as a clubhouse has to offer, with comfortable surroundings and excellent Bar service!
Head coach Ryan Milligan was delighted at the numbers! “Its been a great turnout for out open session this year, lets hope these players get the rugby bug and thrive as so many have before at the club”. Belfast Harlequins boasts 2 Irish internationals, numerous Ulster players and has attracted overseas attention with South African International Zanay Jordaan joining us for time on scholarship!
In fact, Quins is very multi-cultural having had Dutch, Canadian, English, South African, American and Austrailian players in the past. Even if you dont speak English as your first language, there are plans in place to deal with any nationality wishing to try rugby!
Quins are hoping to field a 2nd XV this year comprised of new players, vetrans and those coming back from injury. The Quins “Jesters” will compete in the Development League with other newly founded teams to give the new players a fair competition according to their skill level, so the player can grow and develop at their pace.
From a youth perspective Quins has grown from strength to strength, doubling their numbers in the last year. Coaches Jen Goodall and Marty Asquith are exceptionally proud of their girls, some of whom have been training with the Ulster U-19 RDS squad.
“Youth rugby is growing and growing every year, with development officers in place to bring girls along from schools and to develop the game at grass roots level things can only get better! We’re very excited for this season and hope that more and more girls join our ranks! Great way to meet new friends and become part of a rugby Family”
So if you’re thinking about starting your rugby journey… why not pop down to Belfast Harlequins! Training is on Tuesday Nights from 7-9 for both junior and senior sections and run by fully qualified IRFU accredited staff!
No experience is necessary, full training given literally from the ground up!