Tuesday 20 March 2018

Initiative to expand girls' game in schools

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Connacht Rugby have started an exciting new initiative that will see three girls schools programmes begin in the coming months, which will include contact and non-contact versions of the game.

A school tag programme, a schools sevens competition and a 10-a-side league will be taking place across the province.

The initiatives aim to give as many young players as possible the opportunity to play rugby.

The first competitions are two league-style blitzes to qualify for the IRFU National X7s finals on October 10 and 26 for junior and senior teams.

The Connacht schools tag rugby programme begins after Christmas and there will be a 10-a-side league for junior, senior and senior-emerging schools from January to March.

Following the successful hosting of the Women's Rugby World Cup this year, record numbers tuned in to watch women's rugby and now more young girls than ever will get the chance to play the game.


Wendy Hickey, Connacht Rugby women's development officer, is excited about the upcoming season for schools rugby and is hoping many schools will come on board.

"Schools rugby is growing in the province and we look forward to rolling out two new additional programmes this season.

"Our aim is to get more players involved in rugby in schools, be it through the contact or non-contact version of the game. We can also offer schools that have been active over the past number of years an additional challenge as a new 10s league is also being piloted this season."

Seven-a-side rugby played across a half-pitch has proven popular over the past few years and it is a great way to start playing rugby with national (seniors) and provincial (junior and senior) competitions taking place in November and April.

Tag rugby is another option that will be made available to students across Connacht, with local blitzes run by the Connacht Rugby club and community rugby officers, leading to a provincial tag competition starting in January.

For any queries on the above, or if your school is interested in playing rugby, please contact wendy.hickey@connachtrugby.ie.

Irish Independent

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