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Herts girls spread the rugby word

16 December 2009

  • vRugby project spreads the message in Hertfordshire
  • Young players speak at assemblies and show DVD

Oren Blindell and Rachel McCullough from Welwyn RFC Herts Rugby Awareness Week 2009

Photo: Herts Advertiser

The Hertfordshire Rugby Awareness Week was an outstanding success in November, with 62 teenaged rugby players speaking at assembly at 41 Hertfordshire schools to introduce the sport to a new audience and present a DVD including photography of the game and the Core Values 'This is Rugby' promotional film.

The awareness week was the brainchild of two 15-year-old rugby-playing girls, Oren Blindell and Rachel McCullough, from Welwyn RFC and Sir John Lawes School, Harpenden, who aimed to share “the buzz” of their fast-growing sport with as many Hertfordshire teenagers as possible.

With funding from The Big Spend (Youth Opportunities Fund) and support from Amanda Bate, Herts RFU Volunteer Co-ordinator, the Hertfordshire RFU and RDO Peter Engledow they did just that, spreading the word to all points of the county.

It was due reward for a lot of hard volunteering work and time which went into the design, printing and distribution of various supporting materials including posters and flyers. And a local newspaper featured a photo of Rachel and Oren, in front of a screen showing the DVD.

The intention was to attract young players to local clubs, and to encourage schools to start and/or develop rugby.

Mike Wernham, Head of Rugby at Dame Alice Owen’s School, said: "We had two assemblies which went very well and I have had eight Year 10 girls asking for some rugby, which shows it has got them interested. Also three new players turned up to Barnet rugby club."

Ashley Cartledge at Bushey Meads School said: "Max and Mike from Watford Rugby Club came to the school last Thursday. The boys were excellent and coached three Year 7 and 8 rugby lessons and led a Year 7 assembly. They were a credit to the project."

Oren and Rachel took part under the national vRugby programme which encourages young volunteers to create projects that benefit their clubs and local community.

Amanda Bate added: "We are hoping this project will bring more young people into the game, as players, referees, coaches, and as volunteers taking on other roles. We also hope even more schools in Hertfordshire will develop rugby for both boys and girls."