Ladies prepare to make Royston Rugby Club history
PUBLISHED: 08:28 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 08:28 17 November 2016
Laura Mcgillivray says it will be a ‘special moment’ when Royston Ladies RFC take to the pitch for their first-ever match on Sunday.
The Crows will flock to the Heath at 2pm as they face off against West Norfolk Ladies in a friendly encounter.
The ladies formed exactly a year ago, ‘beginning as a group of Mums bored of standing on the sidelines watching the husbands and children play rugby’, and after a strenuous last two months of training and preparation, the first ladies’ team in the club’s 45-year history are ready to tackle their inaugural challenge.
Skipper Mcgillivray told the Crow: “We started as a group of just four ladies but we’ve slowly grown and now we have 18 regular players who turn up to training so it’s amazing.
“We’ve been lucky because the local council have helped us out by giving us a grant in order to buy equipment, kit and advertise the side.
“We have also had fabulous support from Royston Rugby Club. The ladies’ squad has been embedded into the club, with the men’s first team coming down to help train us.
“I’m honoured to be the captain for our first match. It’ll be a special moment when we line up for the game.”
The group, coached by Lee Fleming and club president Godfrey Everett, have already made a huge impact on the club.
Looking to entice more players to join the team, they set up a pitch-up-and-play event, supported by former Women’s World Cup winner Kat Merchant, where any prospective females could go and give rugby a try for free.
That proved so successful that the club arranged a further pitch-up-and-play event for anyone to attend with Royston’s honorary board member and fellow former World Cup winner Will Greenwood making it his first appearance at the club back in July.
President Everett has been impressed by the ladies’ efforts.
Everett said: “They are incredibly enthusiastic and improving by the week.
“The social side they have generated is excellent and any ladies looking to play, watch or support would be welcomed by everyone.”
Mcgillivray hopes the game is the start of a new era for female rugby at the club.
She continued: “All the ladies are passionate and determined that the team will be a great success at Royston for years to come.
“We’re hoping to join a league next season but that’s in the future.
“We’re just looking to enjoy this game at the weekend first.”