Good news for girls' rugby

GIRLS at rugby clubs in Suffolk will benefit from new lottery funding.The money will be used to create a Girls' Rugby Development Officer whose task will be to increase the uptake of girls' rugby in the county and support clubs which already have girls' teams.

GIRLS at rugby clubs in Suffolk will benefit from new lottery funding.

The money will be used to create a Girls' Rugby Development Officer whose task will be to increase the uptake of girls' rugby in the county and support clubs which already have girls' teams.

Sport England has been responsible for securing the £1,000 of funding through the Active Sports Programme, and Ipswich Rugby club in particular, is welcoming the news.

Emma Johnson is responsible for girls' rugby at the club, she said: "The creation of the new post is absolutely great, it should get a youth section within women's rugby to support the senior section and hopefully will attract girls from primary schools to our club."

Currently only Ipswich, Sudbury and Southwold rugby clubs provide structured coaching and training for girls and developers are trying to increase uptake.

Terry McEntee, Active Sports Manager for Suffolk said: "The money will be used to try and develop women's rugby, which is great.

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"We want to attract as many girls as possible and think that the interest is there. "We want to develop girls' rugby further and set up new teams across the county.

"The funding will be used to employ someone to get into clubs in the county and look for the interest and resources to create girls' teams.

"It will also be used to develop coaching schemes to attract youngsters from schools."

Many girls from the region already play tag rugby at primary school and informally at clubs- the aim is to create a more formal structure and encourage girls to continue with the sport.

Terry McEntee added: "The game is still in its infancy and we really need to pull everything together.

"We need to find out what resources are available in terms of clubs and coaches who are willing to take on girls' teams.

"We also need to identify people to take on roles and provide training and support- the lottery funding should help with this."

Currently volunteers at the three clubs providing girls' rugby are tackling a lot of work.

Emily Palmer of Sudbury Rugby Club said: "It's absolutely brilliant to get this funding, for a club run by volunteers it will be nice to have someone to do some of the jobs that we can't, it will take the pressure off."

Applications for the position of Girls Rugby Development can be obtained from Waveney District Council.

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