by JACK NIXON
SIX clubs in the North-East of Scotland have pooled resources in a bold, imaginative bid to give girls who want to participate in the game of rugby a game. The initiative, inspired by Aberdeen Wanderers, has been backed by clubs in Banff, Deeside, Ellon, Inverurie Garioch) and Huntly.
“Thanks to the support we are getting from the participating clubs, we are able to give under-15 and under-18 girls a regular game, something which would not be possible at their individual clubs. As a result, the two teams we run are strong enough to play in national competitions which are supported by the SRU,” said co-ordinator Guy Mullinor of the Wanderers club.
“The teams are currently competing in the National Girls Club Cup and this Sunday (9th April) the Under 15s are playing Biggar U15s in a Cup semi-final and the Under 18s are playing Annan U18s in a Shield semi-final,” he added.
Both games are being played at Aberdeen Wanderers RFC’s ground at Groats Road, Aberdeen. The games will kick-off at 2pm and 3.15pm.
Mullinor is joint coach of the squads, supported by Steve Hutchision of the Huntly club. Even the training arrangements are forward thinking with the tames meeting up every fortnight at the Aberdeen Sports Village, and training at their own club each week.
“Getting access to the Sports Village has been a real bonus. It is a facility of the future, giving the players a huge lift. We are lucky to have it on our door step. Currently we have 50 girls in training every week. I would like to think that is the start of something big,” said Mullinor.
Aberdeen Wanderers coach Russell Arthur praised the initiative.
“It is a great asset in the area. All clubs have a duty to ensure that rugby is available to all young people. The inclusion of girls is no different. There is currently a great appetite to support the development from grassroots level The commitment of all coaches, parents and senior players in the club will ensure that we have infrastructure to grow and develop their skill-set. We have some very talented girls. At the moment this enterprise is a hidden gem, not that it will remain that way,” he said.