Donegal Women’s Rugby stars are getting behind the Irish Rugby Union’s drive to recruit more young women to the game of rugby.
Nora Stapleton and Larissa Muldoon were both members of the very successful Irish Women’s squad at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France.
The Irish Women created history at the World Cup by reaching the semi-final of the tournament for the first time ever.
And while they were well beaten by England in the semi-final, it was still seen as a most successful run with the second round victory over a very strong New Zealand the highlight of the competition.
The IRFU are now aiming to capitalise on the goodwill and increased interest in the game following the World Cup run with a countrywide initiative to attract more young girls to the game.
The initiative was launched last week and is called “Give it a Try – Girls Minis”.
“Most rugby clubs encourage girls to join Mixed-Minis Rugby but research has shown that when separate boy and girl sections are available more girls participate and continue to play and enjoy the game,”said Nora Stapleton, Women and Girls Rugby Development Executive at the IRFU at the launch.
“For this reason we are encouraging clubs, parents and anyone who wishes to help develop girls minis rugby to take up our invitation to give it a try”.
To encourage clubs and to assist in the recruitment drive the IRFU have developed a step-by-step guide.
This guide is to support parents, former players, potential volunteers and anyone that may wish to get involved in the development of the game in their area.
The guide includes a support pack and a supply of balls, bibs and cones.
The packs will be issued to rugby clubs throughout the country, and are also available on request from the IRFU website,
In addition the IRFU is also about to re-launch its successful Give it a Try programme, which was introduced following the Grand Slam win of 2013 with a number of open days around the country. That programme resulted in an additional 14 clubs fielding women’s teams for the first time.
The IRFU is also repeating last year’s ‘highly successful ‘Play Rugby and Play Girls Rugby’ programme. This programme resulted in 7,000 primary school girls and 5,500 secondary school girls participating in various form of the game of rugby, for the first time.