Hartlepool Rugby Club celebrate 'incredible' growth of female players in just one year

The number of women and girls giving rugby a try in Hartlepool has rocketed in a short space of time.

Monday, 16th May 2022, 3:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 6:28 pm

Hartlepool Rugby Club have reflected on an “incredible” year of growth in just the last 12 months which has seen the creation of a number of teams that are playing regular fixtures.

Despite the club, based at Mayfield Park, in Easington Road, having a strong history of supporting women’s rugby going back to 1998, they unfortunately had not had a female playing squad for the past 11 years.

However, since the club began exploring resurrecting the Hartlepool Ladies team in April last year, its female representation has gone from strength to strength.

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Hartlepool Rugby Club's ladies team.

The club’s director of rugby, Liam Lester, said: “Fast forward 12 months and we’ve gone from having no female playing offer to Women’s, Under 15 and Under 13 Girls teams all playing regular fixtures.

"Very soon we’ll be launching an Under 12 Girls team too. Here’s to a bright future for the female game at Mayfield Park.”

Head coach of the under 15s, David Carson-White, said he feels “incredibly proud” of the development of the team in such a short time and is excited for what the next season could hold.

Many of the women’s team are now involved in coaching the junior members, both girls and boys, with great support from seasoned coaching staff.

Hartlepool Rugby Club has formed several new girls and women's squads in the last year. Picture by Neil Tingle.

Women’s team player Nicola Hunter is also inspiring the next generation as head coach of the Under 13s.

She is passionate about instilling confidence in the girls, and teaching them that individual strength is only part of the strength of the unit and how they all function together.

Nicola said: “Playing a team sport like rugby provides interaction and inclusion which are skills that are vital both on and off the pitch.”

Although the season has now finished, fitness and training continues through the summer.

The Under 15s side.

The club say that with no experience necessary, it’s a great way of getting fit, meeting new people and forming lifelong friendships.

Any ladies or girls keen to get involved, are welcome to attend training at Mayfield Park on Tuesday evenings.

Girl’s training (age 11 to 16) is from 6pm and ladies from 7pm.

Or for more information, email [email protected]

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