The girls are back in town!
- Thursday, 10 September 2015
Women's rugby is back at our Club writes Brian Seeney.
Kes Suffield and Emily Wakelin are leading efforts to re-establish a women's rugby section after it folded towards the end of 2003 as several service personnel went off to the Iraq war and a lack of a clubhouse (it was being rebuilt) saw interest wane.
Now Emily, who was a Mini/Youth player then and Kes, who played in the Club's original Women's XV, are leading efforts to recruit new players.
Ellie Carter, Hannah Wakelin, Emily Wakelin, Kes Suffield and Kayleigh Adamson. Photo: Roger Smith.
"We have had really positive feedback in the club and everybody is really encouraging (us) and supporting us," said Emily who left the club when she was 12 to live in France but is now back ten years later and came up with the idea of rebuilding the women's rugby section.
Women's rugby experienced a nationwide boost when England won the Women's World Cup in the summer of last year and Emily and Kes are both hoping that more girls and women will become interested in the sport.
The women's team will play friendlies at first then later when numbers are sufficient, will look at entering a team in ladies' league rugby.
Plans to have an active social section have already started with regular attendance at the club's Match Day Lunches held before 1st XV Saturday league games at Gosport Park.
"We are very competitive - we have to be to prove we can do it," said Emily.
"We want to encourage as many women as possible to come along and play - and win! But we want to have fun as well because it is about enjoying ourselves.
"Players need to be over 18 to play in matches but younger girls can come along and join in with training."
Says Kes: "The return of women's rugby is long overdue and it is very exciting.
"We have had a lot of encouragement from the club's committee and all the men's teams (1st, 2nd and 3rd XVs) are really supportive.
"Word is getting around and a lot of people have said it's about time women's rugby was played again at Gosport Park."
Any girls and women interested in joining in should contact Emily on 07463 703330 or Kes on 07940 049124 or visit 'Gosport and Fareham Ladies rugby' on Facebook.
From left to: Kes Suffield, Hannah Wakelin and Kayleigh Adamson. Photo: Roger Smith.