The Irish Rugby Football Union are aiming to capitalise on the success and interest in the recent Women’s Rugby World Cup by supporting anyone who wants to develop girls minis rugby teams across the country with the launch of a new initiative – ‘Give it a Try – Girls minis’.
The IRFU have developed a step-by-step guide and support pack, which includes balls, bibs and cones, to encourage parents, former players, potential volunteers and everyone else who may wish to develop a girls minis team in their locality – even if they have no background or experience playing rugby.
The guide will be issued to rugby clubs throughout the country, encouraging them to identify someone to develop a girls minis team and is also available on the Irish Rugby website, for those who are not yet affiliated with a club, but wish to learn more.
In addition the IRFU is re-launching its successful ‘Give it a Try’ programme, which was introduced following the Grand Slam win of 2013 and resulted in an additional 14 clubs fielding women’s teams, with open days taking place in clubs across the country.
Details of open days are available on www.irishrugby.ie/giveitatry, with more clubs signing up each week.
The IRFU will also repeat its Play Rugby’ and ‘Play Girls Rugby’ programmes, which last year resulted in almost 7,000 primary school girls and 5,500 secondary school girls partaking in variations of the game of rugby.
Nora Stapleton, IRFU Women & Girls Rugby Development Executive and current member of the Ireland Women’s squad, commented: “Most rugby clubs encourage girls to join mixed Minis rugby but research has shown that when separate ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ sections are available more girls participate and continue to play and enjoy the game.
“For this reason we are encouraging clubs, parents and anyone who wishes to help develop girls minis rugby to take up our invitation to ‘Give it a Try’.”
Fiona Coghlan, who captained Ireland at the recent Women’s Rugby World Cup in France, said: “The growing interest in Women’s rugby is really positive for the potential long term growth of the sport and the IRFU have identified a number of potential entry points for new players into the game.
“It is encouraging that the ‘Give it a Try’ programme is establishing a support framework to encourage as many girls and women as possible to play rugby.”