By Aoife O’ Callaghan
Established in 2021, the women’s section in Dolphin RFC, on the outskirts of Cork city, has had a plethora of success in just the two seasons they have existed.
Not only have they come out of the depths of the pandemic and been able to field squads from U12 right up to senior, but they have also seen a number of their underage players make Munster, Ireland and even UK Premiership squads.
With this in mind Club Vice President Ger Hodkinson, U18 Team Management and Club PRO Aoife O’ Callaghan have come together to create a recruitment campaign to encourage girls under the age of 18 to give rugby a try. The Recruit 23 campaign will introduce rugby to girls in a complete beginner's manner, it will be non-contact based and will instead be focused on teaching the laws and mechanics of rugby in a fun and welcoming environment.
In the Adolescent Girls Get Active research report released by Sport Ireland in 2021, it was found that only 5% of girls aged between 16-20 years were meeting their recommended physical activity levels. With this recruitment campaign O’ Callaghan and co are making rugby accessible for the young women of Cork. They believe that rugby is a sport for all and that there is a position on the pitch for everyone, no matter what height or size you are.
Under 18.5 prop Sofia Carty is a prime example of how rugby is a sport for all, even the complete novice. Sofia only took up rugby during Transition Year last year. She was completely new to the game and within a matter of weeks fell in love with it. Fast forward a year later and she has now found herself in the Munster Squad for this year's Spring Interprovincial Series. This is a massive feat for someone so young especially as these test games are also being viewed as trials for the Under 18 Irish Squad.
The 8 weeks beginners training is being offered to girls born between 2006 and 2008 and will begin on the 22ndof February at 6:30pm in Musgrave Park. There is a registration fee of €10 payable on the day.
For more information contact [email protected] and play your part in growing women's rugby in Ireland.