International Women's Day: Turriff RFC
For over 150 years, the North East town of Turriff (more locally know as ‘Turra’) has generated a hive of activity for the farming community and families with mart days and agricultural shows.
And whilst that very much remains the case, the town has entered new territory with the establishment of their first rugby club, led by husband and wife, John and Lyndsey Hester.
Turriff now becomes the fourth club in the Banff and Buchan area in recent years to enter the Scottish Rugby league set up, joining Banff, Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
Having originally met at the age of 16 whilst both playing rugby at the Mill Hill club in London, John and Lyndsey decided that they wanted to share their love of the game with their local community in Turriff.
In October 2018 the pair organised an all-ages touch rugby event on the 3G pitches at the local Sports Centre, which was attended by more than 30 people. Following the success of this initial event, the couple began running two sessions per week, which quickly saw upwards of 50 people taking part.
Seeing the demand and enjoyment from the local community, a club was formally set up and Turriff became a Scottish Rugby associate club soon after, in July of 2019.
Sharing the club’s story with Scottish Rugby, Lyndsey, who is now a co-President with John said: “We put in a lot of hard work to establish the club formally and it’s been a really exciting journey.
"From the outset, we were always adamant that Turriff were not going to be focused on building a men’s team first and then eventually a women’s team. It’s been of equal importance to create the teams together. I think that approach really helped to build strong relationships within the club and means that everyone feels valued.”
Despite being new to the game, Turriff Women have already enjoyed the sweet taste of victory when they were crowned the winners of the Huntly Sevens tournament in summer 2019. This growth and progression is something that Lyndsey is extremely proud of.
“To have started off with just five of us at training, to a full team who have successfully competed in a tournament event was just fantastic. Although normal training is off, we’re all keeping up our fitness individually and we are really looking forward to entering the development league once rugby resumes. Although it’s been on hold it’s still been an exciting time, and we’re raring to go.” Lyndsey Hester, co-President of Turriff RFC
Scottish Rugby’s Regional Director for the Caledonia North region, Rudi Urbach said: “The development of rugby in the north-east of Scotland is on an upwards trajectory. Our Caledonia North cultures, values and behaviours are strongly reflected in the positive growth of women and girls’ rugby, much of which is driven by strong female volunteers and club leaders like Lyndsey and so many others across our region.
"I’m looking forward to watching Turriff Women’s programme continue to progress, along with working alongside the club to further their journey in the sport when it is safe to do."