Wakefield Wildcats Women and Girls Rugby Presentation evening was held in CATs bar last Thursday. The evening was organised to recognise and celebrate the success of the Girls Academy, FTUK (Female Touch UK) Rugby League, and volunteering at the club throughout the 2010-2011 season.
After receiving funding from Sport England through the Community Investment Fund women and girls rugby has gone from strength to strength in Wakefield. As a result Wakefield Wildcats have been able to support aspiring volunteers, set up female touch rugby leagues and girls rugby academies. Players have been recruited through the delivery of rugby based sessions in Primary and Secondary Schools, and more recently Further Education Institutions.
During the first part of the evening volunteers Sophie Ayling, Emma Jane Lisle, and Sarah Broadbent were recognised for their efforts throughout the season. Each of the volunteers are students from Leeds Metropolitan University and have been working alongside Women and Girls Development Officer to gain experience in the sports field. Volunteers are the lifeblood of sport – without them community sport would grind to a halt (Sport England, 2011).
The second part of the evening recognised the success of the Wakefield FTUK festival which has been running in conjunction with other clubs as a brand new initiative aimed at encouraging more women and girls to get involved with rugby league. The Wildcats league has run for the last ten weeks and has engaged over 43 women. Castleford Panthers B team won the final event on Tuesday 12 July and were awarded with their trophy during the evening.
The final part of the evening recognised the Girls Rugby Academy which is currently based at Outwood Grange. The girls have taken part in RFL rugby festivals held from September, 2010 to July, 2011, including Farnley, Keighley, Castleford Panthers, and Stanningley. This has provided the girls with the opportunity to play at U’12s, U’14s and U’16s.
A special mention must go to Charlotte Peel, Natalie Aldred, Lucy Robinson, Amber Yates, Lauren Birch, Kayleigh Howden, Emma Holley, Amber Yates, Megan Rodgers, Alice Schofield and Amy Robins for attending the festivals at some point throughout the season.
Each of the Academy players were presented with a montage of pictures taken over the season. These were handed out by England Women Rugby League players Andrea Dobson and Emma Slowe, who joined us for the evening.
Following their recognition parents, players and guests were encouraged to ask Andrea and Emma questions about the player development pathway and their experiences of playing rugby league. Organiser Clare Marlow expressed “I would like to thank Andrea and Emma for taking time to come and celebrate the girl’s season. It was good for the girls to hear about how to progress”.
The main awards of the evening were presented by Wakefield Wildcats IV team player Tommy Lee. These were as follows;
• Most Improved – Amy Robins
• Coaches Player – Lucy Robinson
• Players Player – Natalie Aldred
• Club Person of the Year – Charlotte Peel
Clare said “congratulations to those girls who won the main awards they really deserve them. And a massive thanks to Tommy for presenting the awards. The girls really appreciated it as they are huge fans of the Wildcats team”.
For more information on the Women and Girls game please contact; email@example.com