Everyone connected to the girl’s section is to be congratulated on this award especially Mandy Meredith who has been the inspiration behind much of the success.
A culmination of events and projects has provided a success story for Drybrook RFC Girls section this season.
Drybrook Girls section has teams at u13’s, u15’s and u18’s with over 30 plus players from age 10 to 18.
As a rural village club we have to continuously work hard at retention and recruitment but a real problem is the lack of fixtures and distances we have to travel to play. In order to maintain interest we have had to be creative in organising additional activities.
We rely on parents bringing girls from around the area to play so we make sure not just the girls but the parents enjoy the experience too.
Our welcome pack incorporates information on the section and girls rugby in particular and we also use a buddy system to look after newcomers until they are settled in.
Younger girls are also welcomed to training once a week so they feel part of the section before going on to play.
The section went on a team bonding weekend where the older girls helped to supervise the younger ones in activities such as quad biking, zip wire and abseiling.
Skittles evenings and karaoke parties have also been organised and the whole section plus friends and family went canoeing on the river Wye followed by a BBQ at the club.
Senior players and their families joined us for a trip to watch the final of the women’s 6 nations and to the IRB 7s where the girls were ball girls for the day.
The girls and parents even joined together to redecorate the changing rooms and one girl designed a new logo for the wall.
We continue to train through the summer to keep fit and have fun and in the winter we hire a local gym.
The girl’s achievements are regularly publicised in the press, on the club’s website, and in the club programme. We now have our own face book page.
After building the section from 5 players 4 years ago we have had to focus on retention so we give them roles to feel valued and empowered.
We encourage the girls to promote the section and they love being involved and want to stay, because they have a say!
One girl has designed and produced a power point presentation to take and deliver to local secondary schools to aid recruitment and another is helping coach an after school club.
Annually we host a y7/yr8 girls schools tag tournament and in March we are hosting a Canadian girls team and have invited all local schools and colleges to come along.
A celebratory ball is planned at the end of season where the girls have chosen the theme and decorations.
The result is that we have retained all our existing players and also recruited some new year 7 and year 9 girls to the section.
Drybrook RFC Girls put fun and friends first, together with empowering its girls – truly Girl Power!