RUGBY: Girls enjoying sport and are being noticed

Lineout practice: Spalding Girls Rugby squad are put through their paces
Lineout practice: Spalding Girls Rugby squad are put through their paces

SPALDING Rugby Club are looking to recruit new players to their girls’ under-15 and 18 sides for the start of the new season next month.

Anyone aged between 13 to 17 is eligible to join in with the girls when they train at the St Thomas’s Road club on Tuesdays (7pm-8.30pm).

The girls are trained by Mike Alford and his assistant Neil Speechley, both of whom are RFU qualified and offer a high standard of coaching for the teenagers.

Alford is keen for more girls to come down and play, as last season the club did not have enough players to make up either an Under-15 or Under-18 side.

He said: “Rugby is a fantastic game but is largely regarded as a male sport, but just ask some of our girls their views on that. We have girls from all over the area in our squads, some travel in from Peterborough, Stamford, Holbeach and even Sutton St James.

“They love the game and develop quickly.”

Speechley would also love to see more girls giving the sport a try.

He added: “Girls’ rugby is changing. Once girls come over and see this then they will realise just how great it is. There is not the big impact like the boys’ game, it is coached safely and to a high standard.

“I would say to any girl interested to come down and try. There’s no compulsion to stay, if you don’t like it then that’s fine.

“The girls are great and make anyone who comes along feel welcome.”

The under-18 side has just been registered into a development league which contains clubs that are not as well established, therefore giving new sides and players every chance to get into the game at a much more manageable pace.

Many of the girls have had considerable success with NLD’s and divisional trials, with one girl, who has now left the club due to being over 18, making the England Under-20 selection squad.

Katie Trevarthen (15) has been with the club for three years and will be moving into the under 18’s this season.

Katie was one of three of the club’s girls selected for divisional trials, and is now in the Talent Development Group, which is a precursor for England Women’s Rugby selection process, having made the transition from under 15’s to under 18’s TDG side last season.

One of her teammates, Nikita Hudz (also 15), made the NLD’s last year but had to drop out of her divisional trials.

She said: “Everyone is included. It is a great sport to boost your confidence because you’re mixing with girls of other ages from different areas.”

Other team members Holly Speechley and Iona Alsord (both 15) agree that it is a very enjoyable sport and one that should not be exclusive to boys.

• Anyone wanting further details should ring Spalding Girls Rugby coach Mike Alford on 07795 473573 or Neil Speechley on 07948 094887.