Fiona Haggerty had been looking for a team in the Bridgend area. A former Welsh squad member, she hadn't played for a club since Swansea Uplands. This season she will be one of the veterans leading the way for Bridgend Athletic RFC.
Starting this season, Bridgend Athletic RFC will field four female teams. Building on the success of Sally Ganner's Under 13 and Under 16 programs, this year will see a senior women's team enter Division II and an Under 19's team playing 7's and 10's matches. Ganner, who has stepped down as the league officer for the Under 16's in South Wales to concentrate on the Bridgend team feels that it was merely a natural progression to field four sides. The young girls wanted to stay together.
The fact is, Bridgend women who were looking to play-either returning to the sport or just beginning had little choice of clubs nearby. Travel time and expenses made it difficult to commit to other clubs.
Now there will be a team located in the center of town and easily accessible to outlying areas.
The club have been training together since Easter and it has proven effective to have the large numbers out. While the senior women have yet to play a game, they did manage a 10 aside squad game early in May-to get accquainted with each other. With the aid of some "liberal" refereeing from Jason Langdon, the women stretched their legs and had more than a few laughs. The under 13's and 16's that came out to support were treated to a fine, if not rusty display.
Langdon not only refs, but is a father and husband to rugby women at Bridgend Athletic. His wife Liz loved the game and decided that she had done enough watching-his daughter Kylie is an outstanding young player with the under 13's. It is a family affair at the club with many parents helping out and always there to support the teams.
The club attitude is inspirational. Coaches will be stressing skill development, fair play, commitment, fitness, and thinking rugby. For some it will be a clean slate but for everyone it will be a new team, new friendships and a new style-blending experience, young talent and desire. Coaching will be done by a team of experienced individuals- Ganner, Development Officer Geriant Evans, Steve Newton, Jon Thiel and Jen Thiel, this club is leading the way to the future in Wales. There is a team and a place for everyone here.
Pre-season training begins on August 6th at 6:45 p.m. at the Newbridge Fields for all ages interested. Experience not needed, positive attitude a must!
If you would like more information about Bridgend Athletic RFC please call Jen at 01656 862 662 or visit our web site at www.BridgendAthleticRFCwomen@groups.msn.com
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.