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Community Trust

#UnitedbyRL hubs helping to develop women’s game

Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull FC are pulling together to develop women’s rugby league in the city and staged an historic first clash between young female players representing both clubs earlier this week.

Promoted under the social media hashtag #UnitedbyRL and with significant help from both Sky Try and Active Humber, the clubs have been hosting female hubs in the east and west of the city, offering basic training from experienced community coaches to help grow the women’s game.

Both the Robins and the Black and Whites have seen numbers grow rapidly since starting the project earlier this year, culminating in a first competitive match at the Lightstream Stadium earlier this week.

Helen Schofield, the Hull KR Community Trust manager, explained: “The training sessions were set up following some really successful Sky Try girls’ rugby league sessions that we delivered in schools.

“Active Humber, the local sports partnership, secured the funding to enable us and Hull FC to develop girls’ teams using a hub model. The aim is to have more opportunities for girls and women to play and to increase the number of people taking part in sport.

“The girls’ sessions were set up to be delivered from the Lightstream Stadium for Hull KR every Monday night starting on August 1, and from Sirius Academy for Hull FC with their regular night being a Friday.

“We wanted this approach as it gives the participants a sense of being part of a professional sports club.”

Helen admits the scheme took a little time to gain momentum - but when it did, it quickly became popular with local girls.

She explained: “The initial response was slow with numbers; around six regular girls attending the first few sessions.

“The girls were encouraged to bring a friend and this started to increase the numbers. We now have 18 girls regularly attending and have been able to set up an under-16s team. We work with the girls to foster an environment of team work and fun whilst at the same time learning rugby league skills.

“Everyone is encouraged to participate no matter what their level of skill is and this has helped to break down any concerns that the girls may have had when they first joined.

“Development of women and girls' rugby is really important in Hull - as the City of Culture for 2017, sport will have a big part to play. We are a city with rugby league at its heart and women and girls play a massive part in the game at both a community and professional level.

“Girls learn so much more than just how to play. They gain skills around teamwork, grit and resilience as well as having fun and keeping fit. #UnitedbyRL is a fantastic programme that has inclusivity at its core and it’s enables both girls and women to feel part of the rugby league community.”

Girls aged 12+ can still join the club’s female hub at the Lightstream Stadium every Monday night. If you are aged 12 to 16-years-old you are welcome to join us from 6pm to 7pm. If you are 16 plus we now have a new session especially for you from 7pm to 8pm.

A mix of touch, tag and full contact rugby is available and all you need to do is come in comfy gym wear and trainers – our coaches will provide the rest.

All abilities are welcome. For more information, please contact the Community Trust on 01482 780908 or email community@hullkr.co.uk

Photo: #UnitedbyRL hubs helping to develop women’s game