Published on August 22, 2018
The momentum and resurgence of women’s rugby following the Australian Women’s Rugby 7s gold medal win at the 2016 Olympics sparked an idea for the introduction of a girls’ rugby program at HVGS.
While the program is still in its infancy, there’s been a great deal of energy and interest in rugby from girls in Years 7 to 12.
The support for girls’ rugby at the school has been extremely encouraging. Each Wednesday afternoon the girls train alongside the boys’ teams, so they, too, feel a part of the rugby culture at the school. Learning from experienced players and coaches is proving beneficial in enhancing their skills and game strategy.
The 2018 girls’ rugby team had success at the City 7s Invitational Gala, winning two out of their three games, going down narrowly by a conversion to Hunter Sports High School. The confidence the girls gained from this experience was amazing.
The physical training sessions and games have pushed the girls outside their comfort zones, but have also enabled a real sense of achievement. Many of our girls have now successfully competed in rugby representative teams outside of school. The girls now believe in their ability, which will serve them well on the field and will translate to many other aspects of their schooling life.
A pleasant by-product from the program has been the opportunity for students to facilitate meaningful relationships across year groups. Our older girls are proving to be excellent role models for younger students, and those who have not had formal opportunities to demonstrate leadership qualities are stepping up.
Finding ways to network with rugby association experts has also been an important aspect of the program. Michael Howell (2009, HVGS First XIV player) is the Hunter Rugby Development Officer and has coached the girls on two occasions.
Girls’ rugby at HVGS will only go from strength to strength, and I’m looking forward to working with girls eager to give rugby a go.