International Women's Day: Duns RFC
Years have gone by since the days when Borders-based Duns RFC enjoyed some success in women’s rugby, however at the time, the team was not sustained. Now, the club is experiencing a resurgence of girls’ rugby as a direct result of Covid-19.
With a number of popular girls’ sports forced to shut down last summer, the club was able to capitalise on this unique opportunity and create a brand-new pathway for girls.
The Berwickshire club’s Development Officer Robert Grigg, who has been in post for more than seven years, explained:
“Most of the sport for girls is based in school and due to the restrictions, there wasn’t any school sport going on. I was approached by a group of parents whose sons were training with us, and they asked if we could start something up for the girls. I had a window in the schedule, so I jumped on it and I’m glad we did because we’ve seen some real success.
It started off with maybe three or four girls, but you know it’s that way when your friend starts doing something and you think ‘maybe I’ll join too’, and that’s what happened with the girls’ rugby. Quite quickly we had about 20-odd girls training every week in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Robert Grigg, Duns RFC Development Officer
By promoting training on social media, Duns not only recruited more participants, but Robert said it also helped bring some familiar faces back to the club:
“Duns previously had a women’s section within the club, which unfortunately wasn’t sustained. However, because photos were being shared on Facebook of the training session former Duns Women’s players have come back in to offer their support as volunteer coaches. It’s a bit of a full circle moment.”
This recent development at the club also captured the attention of BBC Scotland, who featured their new-found success in girls’ rugby last December.
Scottish Rugby’s Regional Director for the East region, David Drummond said: “It’s fantastic to see Duns respond to their local community’s needs in providing rugby as a sporting outlet for young girls, whose regular activity had been impacted because of the pandemic.
“Thanks to Robert and the volunteers at the club for stepping up and creating these new opportunities. I really hope these girls will continue on with their journey once restrictions ease again.”