Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oren and Rachel rewarded by Herts RFU

Colin Haslam of Herts RFU read out the following speech about Oren Blindell and Rachel Mccullough at the Club Development Evening on Monday at Herts University.  The girls did not arrive till late as they were being interviewd for TV at Barclay's Canary Wharf and receiving their Diana award.  The also received shields from HRFU to recognise their work.@

Oren Blindell and Rachel Mccullough, two Welwyn U18 players, were only 15 when they began a
project which is known as RAW, or Rugby Awareness Week.

For this initiative to raise awareness of youth rugby across Herts in schools they did the following:-
ñ wrote a speech for teenagers to read out in assemblies about youth rugby in clubs which
covered the core values-Respect, Sportsmanship, Discipline, Team work, and Enjoyment.

  • They prepared a power point to be shown in assemblies
  • In the first season of this project there were 62 teenagers speaking in 42 schools across
  • the county in one week.
  • Teachers fed back to us that they were delighted with the project.
  • To support the project the girls applied for funding from the Big Spend fund and brought
  • £9500 into the county, which was spent on courses for coaching and refereeing and for helping to fund girls festivals.
The girls did not stop there.....
  • They have also produced 6 editions of a Girls Rugby Newsletter which goes to all clubs for players to print off and display in schools.
  • After the first RAW, they ran the project again during the 6 Nations earlier this year and have just sent out new speeches and new powerpoint presentations to schools yet again, this time entitled Don't Forget the Girls!
  • This time they hope to raise an awareness of girls rugby , during a time when the focus will be on rugby during the RWC.

Other achievements-

  • They recruited and coached a team to play in the girls school competition last Oct.
  • And now they are embarking on a new initiative... Rugby Ambassadors in schools.
  • They've been doing all this while playing rugby themselves-club, county and regional, and studying for GCSE's. ( which they both did superbly well at, I hear)

Their hard work has brought them several awards including the Presidents XV award and very
recently the Diana Award, a National one for young Volunteers, which they were presented with
earlier today.

So to recognise their hard work I would like to present them with these hoodies and awards.

U15 and U18 Herts Squads

A total of 64 girls attended the Herts trials/development day.

The U15s session was well attended with 37 girls taking part. The following 20 girls, representing six different clubs, were selected for the U15s Herts squad:

  • Harriet Austin
  • Francesca Bannon
  • Louise Baxter
  • Sara Blissett
  • Katy Cook
  • Lucy Corrigan
  • Emma Duncan
  • Hayley Everett
  • Zoe Harrison
  • Flossy Jones
  • Rosie Kay
  • Emily Marsh
  • Aine McMahon
  • Ellena Perry
  • Kayleigh Read
  • Ella Sim
  • Megan Smith
  • Kate Summerfield
  • Beth Summerfield
  • Katy Walker

In the U18s age group, 27 girls from three clubs competed for a place in the squad. The following were selected:
  • Ellah Hughes
  • Becky Dawson
  • Lotte Clapp
  • Shira Kilgallon
  • Olivia Stembridge
  • Ruth Flory
  • Marie Beaufils
  • Elizabeth Crake
  • Jade Cooper
  • Rachel McCullough
  • Kate Sellars
  • Vicci Cogger
  • Bryony Pomfret
  • Sydney Gregson
  • Courtney Arberry
  • Scarlett Cooper-Wall
  • Abbie Maxwell
  • Charlie Faloona
  • Oren Blindell
  • Emily Davis
  • Sydnie Grace
  • Melissa Gargaro

The first match for both the U15s and U18s will be against Kent at Blackheath RFC on Sunday 16th October.

Monday, September 26, 2011

OA Saints in pictures

OA Saints have been used for an Olympic 2012 project ...Teamwork... and entered into a competition.

A 2012 Storyteller came to meet then last week and has now published the story - below. Andy Wilkes, the Storyteller, said,

 "I would like to thank the entire Team at OA Saints for their hospitality and the encouragement they gave me. Especially: Amanda Bate - Club Chairwoman Hannah 'Coxy' Cox - Club Captain Tasha Saint-Smith - Club Legend I'd like to dedicate this Storyteller Challenge to OA Saint Georgie Robinson."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hertfordshire's Geri selected for senior England squad

Hertfordshire and Wasps hooker Geraldine Thomas has been called up to the England Women’s Elite Playing Squad (EPS) for the 2011/2012 season. She replaces Richmond hooker Emma Croker who has withdrawn from the squad this season for personal reasons.

Geri began her rugby at Fullerians, where she was when first selected  for East Region, later moving to Welwyn. She was also a regular in junior Hertfordshire teams.

Geri played regular England Under 20s rugby last season and will now join the EPS squad who will contest a three test series against New Zealand this autumn as well as the RBS 6 Nations.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Herts Girls County Trial + Development Afternoon Sun 18th Sept Welwyn RFC 1.00

As you should already be aware, the Herts Girls county trials & development afternoon for U18s and U15s will take place next Sunday 18th September at Welwyn RFC, Hobbs Way, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6HX. 

Registration will be at 1pm, with the session starting at 1.30pm and ending by 4pm. Please ask your girls to arrive dressed ready for rugby as the changing rooms may not be available until later. All girls are encouraged to attend the trials/development session regardless of ability. 

Under the new RFUW rules the U15 age group now comprises girls in school years 9 and 10, plus those in year 8 who the RFUW has given special permission to play in U15s this season.

The registration form (see right) must be completed and brought along by each player on the day. It must be signed by a parent for any player under the age of 18, to give permission for the player to take part.

It would be a great help if club coaches could email a list of girls intending to attend the afternoon by Friday 16th to help with planning, though girls who just turn up on the day will still be allowed to take part: 

Girls will be notified whether or not they have been selected by email by Wednesday 21st September. Please note there is a training session for those selected on Sunday 25th September. 

We look forward to meeting you all.


Adrian Pomfret, U18s manager 07906 863550
Colin Summerfield, U15s manager 07913 141207

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Fifth place for L&SE U18s at UK Schools Sevens

London & SE U18s - with two Herts girls - finished a disappointing fifth place in the first ever UK Schools Games rugby sevens today.

A 19-0 defeat to Wales A in the opening game of the day condemned them to the bowl competition. An impressive 26-0 win over Wales B set up for their final match, a 4th place decider against North, who had only managed to beat the Welsh by 12-0. It looked promising, but unfortunately the North ran away with the game 27-0.

Elsewhere the Gold Medal went to Wales A. South West had a 100% pool record and entered the medal round as clear favourites, by Wales A - only third in the pool - beat them 12-5 in the opening game, and then beat Midlands 5-0 to clinch the title.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Tough day for London & South East at UK School Games

Its been a tough day for the London & SE team in Sheffield. After four of the five rounds of pool games, South West lead with a 100% record, with Midlands second with three wins from four. London & South East are languishing a bit with only one win

However, the only thing that really matters with the pools is finishing in the top three - and when the final round of pool games start tomorrow five of the six teams will begin with a theoretical chance of going through to compete for gold. And its pretty simple - L&SE must beat Wales Dragons "A"... and by a good margin. It'll be a tough call as L&SE's try count is not good, so its probable that other results will have to go their way as well.

Results should appear here during the day.

RFUW L&SE Divisional Coaching & Manager positions


Hi All

I am currently appointing new coaches and managers for the RFUW London and South East Divisional programme. Please see attached the JD and adverts for the positions. Can you please forward onto anyone you feel is appropriate and would benefit from being involved in the programme for the 2011/2012 season or anyone you feel who has relevant contacts.

To confirm the London and South East positions that are currently available for 2011/2012 season are listed below:

·         Senior Head Coach
·         Senior Assistant Coach
·         U18 Head Coach
·         U15 Head Coach
·         U15 Assistant Coach

The closing date at present was September 2nd but this date may be extended so if you can inform any potential candidates to just send in their application  forms to as soon as they can that would be much appreciated.

Two Herts girls on the road to Rio

Two Herts U18s will be taking part in one of the RFUWs first steps on the road to the 2016 Rio Olympics when they take part in the UK School Games in Sheffield this weekend.

Because of the inclusion of rugby sevens at the 2016 games the sport has been included in the School Games for the first time as - by the time 2016 comes around - these are the players who will be in the running for selection.

There are six teams - one from each English division, plus two Welsh sides - and the London & South East squad includes Shira Kilgallon (Richard Hale School and Welwyn RFC) and Sydney Gregson (The Knights Templar School and Letchworth RFC).

The RFUW's press release gives more information:

Rugby Sevens will be making its debut at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield this week, with 60 Under 18s girls from England and Wales taking part.

The Sainsbury’s UK Schools Games is a multi-sport event for the UK’s elite young athletes of school age. Athletes will contest for honours over 12 sports in a four-day games environment designed to replicate the feel of major events such as the Olympics Games.

England will be represented in Rugby Sevens with an England North, England Midlands, England South West and an England London & South East team whilst Wales will field two teams. The England players have been selected from the RFUW Under 18s Divisional Programme, a pathway developed to provide competitive rugby for the best junior talent around.

With Rugby Sevens set to join the Olympic Games family in 2016 the RFUW’s Head of Performance Nicola Ponsford believes the Sainsbury’s UK Schools Games is an important stepping stone to develop the women’s game for the future. Ponsford said: “Rugby Sevens is a game growing in popularity all the time and the Sainsbury’s UK Sports Games is a really positive opportunity to move forward and develop Rugby Sevens at this age group.  With the inclusion of Rugby Sevens in the 2016 Olympics some of these players might well be on the international stage at that event.

“The games are also a perfect opportunity for the athletes to take part in a quality event alongside other sports. The players will have the chance to learn from one another but also from the other sports, and sample a taste of what it is like to be an elite athlete.”

Rugby Sevens is one of just 12 sports in the Sainsbury’s UK Schools Games, with athletes also competing for medals in sports such as athletics, badminton, fencing, hockey and judo. Each athlete will also get to sample the other sports as well as receive elite performance educational advice. The 1600 young people will also be sharing an athletes village, there will be an opening and closing ceremony and they will have access to athletes mentors who have experienced world class competitions, all in all providing the closest experience these youngsters are going to get to participate in a major competition such as a Commonwealth Games or the Olympics at this level.

Mark Saltmarsh, the RFU’s National Schools Development Manager, added: “Having rugby union included in this annual Olympic style competition for young people in the build up to London 2012 is fantastic. Planning is well underway to ensure an outstanding and memorable experience for all involved and to give rugby in Sheffield a real boost.”

The Games will run from the 1st to 4th September, with Rugby Sevens based at Abbeydale, home of Sheffield RFC.