Glasgow South develop new talent across the women's game
Scottish Rugby marked the final day of Scottish Women & Girls in Sport Week in style at Paisley RFC, welcoming 50 women's players, newly qualified referees and club coaches for a Game Play Opportunity event to put into practice everything they've been learning as developing players, coaches and match officials!
The event, hosted by the Glasgow South team from Scottish Rugby’s Rugby Development department is part of a national initiative which aims to provide playing opportunities for female players aged 18 and over, who are not currently involved in full contact league rugby, but wish to develop their rugby skills and confidence.
Upon moving to Annan in early 2020, Iona Cook decided to take up rugby with the Annan Warriors, however restrictions due to covid-19 saw her rugby journey put on ice.
Iona has since returned through the summer months and into the spring of 2021 in line with Scottish Rugby’s Return to Rugby guidelines and took part at the event on Sunday 31 October.
“My favourite thing about the development day was that I was able to mix with other teams in training and whilst playing a game”, said Iona
“This allowed me to get to know other players when I wouldn’t usually get the chance in a game setting and shows how rugby is really like a family. Myself and the other girls from Annan teamed up with Bannockburn for most of the day and they were so friendly and made us feel a part of their team.
“I also really enjoyed the different warm-up activities that were used. Some were familiar to me; however, some were brand new and really fun.”
Iona added that taking part in the development event has been a huge confidence booster, saying: “I feel a lot more confident with my tackling. Although I’m not all the way there yet in the confidence of my ability the tackling exercises gave me that boost I needed to really go for it. And the advice from the coaches really helped too.”
Prior to the event, coaches from the six participating clubs joined together for a CPD session led by Stephen Raby, Head of Rugby at Robert Burns Academy and Colin Sturgeon, Head of Rugby at Marr RFC.
Louise Smith, has been coaching for nearly four years and currently leads the Midi-Girls at Paisley. Taking part in the CPD session, she said: “This event has been a great way to develop my learning by hearing from other coaches about challenges they have faced and have they have overcome them. It’s been great to share my love for coaching with others, both the players and the other club coaches.
“For us as a club, to have been able to host and facilitate such a successful event less than a year after launching our women and girl’s pathway was fantastic.”
In addition to this, Colin Brett, Match Official Development Manager and Acting Coach Development Officer for Glasgow South, hosted an Introduction to Match Officiating Course which ran alongside the training event.
Jess Broatch, Scottish Rugby Regional Manager for Glasgow South said: “I’d like to share my thanks on behalf of Scottish Rugby to Paisley RFC for hosting the development event. It was a real joy to watch players taking part blossom in confidence over the course of the afternoon.
“To be able to further use this event to develop the skills and knowledge of girls’ and women’s coaches and newly qualified referees is an excellent bonus, because it allows us to nurture and hone people’s skills in a fun, friendly and safe environment.”
Click HERE to see the image gallery from the event.
Scottish Rugby's Rugby Development department are hosting a number of Game Play Opportunities for women and girls across the country throughout the 2021/22 season.
For more information, click HERE.