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Cambridge Rugby Club to launch girls' rugby training

Cambridge Rugby Club head shots. Photographs Chris Fell
Cambridge Rugby Club head shots. Photographs Chris Fell

Albert Portsmouth sees need to cater for all

Developing rugby opportunities available to girls is the new target for Cambridge Rugby Club.

They have set out plans to start training sessions for youngsters from 12 to 18, with the ultimate aim of getting teams running.

Community coach Albert Portsmouth ran some projects in schools in Years 7, 8 and 9 last season, which was made possible thanks to funding from Living Sport.

“We went into schools to deliver girls’ rugby and had some really good feedback from the girls, teachers, schools and Living Sport, who funded the project for us to do it,” said Portsmouth.

“Living Sport kickstarted this for us, without their help we would probably be talking about this in a few years’ time.”

And after receiving encouragement that there was a desire from youngsters to play, Cambridge will get initial training under way on Wednesday, November 23.

Portsmouth feels that it is a vital part of society that is not catered for in terms of rugby, and believes that Cambridge needed to be doing to address that anomaly.

“There is no provision for girls’ rugby from 12 to 18 and I think as the leading men’s club in east Anglia we should be leading by example on this and give girls somewhere to play,” said Portsmouth.

“It’s up to 12 that girls can play with the boys but after that they have nowhere to play.

“Under-13, 15 and 18 are the three age groups we’re looking to set up initially. Shelford run a ladies’ team but nothing below it and we’re trying to fill the gap.

“It’s a growing sport and there is a lot of funding available for women’s sport and it’s important that it’s utilised.

“There are not many sports that are growing at all, let alone the rate that women’s sport is growing at. We need to make sure the club are ready and prepared to take female participants on.

“It’s making sure we are not missing out anyone in the community.

“It’s like a snowball effect as if a friend plays then another friend might think they may go along as well.”

Portsmouth, who with fellow community coach Ben Penfold guides the women’s team at ARU, explained that the initial training will be taster sessions.

“We won’t throw anyone in at the deep end,” he said. “They will be learning the skills without even knowing they are actually doing it.

“It won’t be just rugby as such. We will put the emphasis on enjoyment rather than anything else.”

And he reiterated: “As the leading club in the region we had to be leading from the front in promoting girls’ rugby.”

Training will be on a Wednesday night at Cambridge Rugby Club, and for more information contact john.creighton@crufc.co.uk or albert.portsmouth@crufc.co.uk

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