Lakenham Hewett get rugby girls on their side
It started almost three years ago when a group of girls from the Hewett School showed interest in a taster session during PE – from there, Lakenham Hewett took girls' rugby seriously.
And with the Norwich club's two current teams – at under-18 and under-15 levels – showing plenty of potential this weekend, all the hard work continues to be well worth the effort.
'It's easy to see why they were interested,' said the club's girls' coach Michael Tidder.
'It is a fast paced, full contact sport, where every single member of the team can make a vital contribution irrespective of size, shape, speed and ability.
'Most of the time girls don't get the chance to give it a go in schools, which is a real shame. This is where we as a club gladly step in and assist.'
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Tidder and his fellow coaches have been going into schools for the past three years to give girls the chance at a sport they might not otherwise get to play.
'The naturally sporty girls get to grips with it quite quickly but it is the girls who normally shy away from sport who really come out of their shell and love it; it really is fantastic to see,' he added.
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It was October 2009 when the Under-18s had enough recruits to take on its first opposition: an 85-0 loss to Norfolk Nomads, and enough to stir the squad into a 17-10 win over Beccles three weeks later.
This season the girls joined the RFUW Midland South League, along with the creation of an under-15 team combining players from Lakenham, Norwich, Fakenham and Wymondham.
Their first match in October produced a breathtaking 60-15 win over Bedford Blues.
On Sunday the results at Lakenham Hewett were mixed against Old Northamptonians. The Under-15s lost a physical encounter 45-20, while the Under-18s – unveiling their new kit courtesy of Table Table – triumphed 37-0.
'Good training makes for good games,' said Tidder.
'Numbers have been fantastic and when the girls are here they always work really hard, get stuck in and most importantly enjoy themselves.'
• The girls train on Tuesday evenings (6-8pm) and Sunday mornings when there is no game (10am-midday), on their home pitch in Swardeston.
If you are between 11 and 17 years old on September 1, and wish to join in, visit lakenhamhewettrfc.co.uk or contact Michael Tidder on firstname.lastname@example.org