Written by Rugby Football League
Lois Forsell is urging community clubs to help restart the momentum of Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League in 2021 by signing up for a number of Festivals for Under-11s Girls teams.
The RFL recently completed a comprehensive review of competition structures for Girls, and one of the key findings was an appetite for new playing opportunities at Under-11s and at Under-18s level.
Forsell, an RFL ambassador for the Women’s and Girls game who was appointed Head Coach of the Leeds Rhinos following her injury-enforced retirement last year, said: “We’re always looking for ways to boost the Women’s and Girls’ game, and having more girls playing more regularly at Under-11s level would be a big step forward. The key at that age is for girls to be encouraged to enjoy themselves, so I’m pleased to see that will be the focus for any clubs who are keen to join.”
Dave Raybould, the RFL’s Community Game Competition Manager, said: “The development of the Women’s and Girls’ game has been a big success story of the last few years, and more and more girls have been introduced to the game at primary schools through Sky Try and Club Foundations.
“We’re delighted to respond to the appetite from girls, parents and coaches for girls-specific competitions so we can grow the numbers together in our World Cup year.
“So we’re asking for expressions of interest from clubs who want to run sessions for girls only at Under-11s level – and also for Under-18s, because we’ve also identified that the gap which currently exists between Under-16s and Open Age leads to some players dropping out of the sport.
“At Under-11s, the priority will be developing basic skills in an enjoyable, well-coached environment, with the emphasis on fun. We are running focus groups but at this stage we imagine the playing opportunities will be Festival-based, and run on a non-competitive, small-sided games format. They may also be run midweek to avoid putting extra pressure on clubs’ facilities at the weekend.”
Any clubs interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 7th December 2020.
The RFL will publish the next in the series of Impact Reports (following the Rugby League Dividend Report) focused on the Social Impact of the Growth of Women’s Rugby League, in December.