Girls' game is thriving
Over the past few years, girls schools rugby has been on a steady increase across Connacht and Ireland as a whole.
What started out as Tag Rugby competitions with only a handful of teams has now progressed to contact rugby, with a variety of provincial and national competitions for schools to take part in.
Twenty-three schools have already expressed interest in taking part in the schools competition that kicks off in February.
Wendy Hickey, Women's Rugby Development Officer, is delighted to see that the schools have expressed a huge interest in offering rugby as a sport for girls in Connacht.
"This year, Girls Schools Rugby has really taken off across the province, and I can only see it getting more popular over the next few years. The opportunities are quite significant when it comes to girls rugby," explains Hickey.
"Before Christmas, the X7s (Crosspitch Sevens) tournament was run for U-18 players, with the top four teams from each province progressing to a national tournament, with the view of selecting the best players to be part of the National U-18s Sevens team.
"It is a great opportunity for these girls who have that ambition to wear the green jersey and to progress to possible senior involvement in the future," Hickey adds.
Girls Rugby in schools is heavily reliant on Branch staff, as in many cases, teachers would not have the experience when it comes to coaching contact. "One of the main reasons the Girls Schools Rugby has grown from a handful of schools to over 20 schools in the province is due to the appointment of new Club and Community Rugby Officers (CCROs) in Connacht. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Branch staff, the club volunteers who have made schools rugby a reality for all those girls who have fallen in love with this great game."
Anyone interested in Women's Rugby in Connacht can contact email@example.com.