Give it a try – Girls Youth Rugby

We’re really looking forward to the return of Canterbury Give It A Try later this year…Not sure what it is? Well let’s take a look…

In 2020, Canterbury and the IRFU have agreed to collaborate on a grass roots initiative for girls to support the development of the women’s game. The ‘Canterbury Give it a Try’ project is an eight-week programme designed to give girls, aged between eight and 14, the opportunity to learn how to play rugby in a fun and safe environment.

Pre-pandemic 35 clubs have been confirmed to host the Canterbury Give It A Try Programme across the four provinces.

Give It A Try is run in selected clubs for girls aged 8 to 14 to learn how to play rugby in a safe and fun environment.

The 2020 programme was due to go ahead in May and will now take place as a modified programme over 4 weeks, hopefully in spring/summer 2021.

All participating clubs have a comprehensive COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan in place and completed IRFU safety training unique to the programme.

Girls Age Bands

Girls’ youth rugby is split up into three age bands: U14, U16 and U18. Some clubs will have all three teams, others may only have one/two of those listed.

When there are not enough girls at one club to make up a team, many areas now have club clusters, where clubs join up for matches. This ensure girls have the opportunity to play regular matches.

The game at this stage progresses from reduced numbers to full XV’s at U18. At times, clubs may play Seven’s or 10 aside rugby as well as non-contact versions of the game.

For more information on the game at these age groups please download the Women’s Long Term Player Development documents below.

Girls Youth Rugby – Rules and Regulations 2020-2021

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear to training?

Anyone looking to give rugby a try should purchase a gum shield to wear when training/playing. After that, you should wear comfortable clothing, for instance, what you might wear when doing PE, going to the gym or participating in other sports activities, e.g. tracksuit/shorts. Football boots are recommended as most activity will take place on a grass pitch.

Will I be playing contact rugby?

All players introduced to rugby for the first time may start with non-contact games. When the coach sees fit, he/she may start to introduce the player to the contact element of the game. Non-contact versions of the game are available through Touch and Tag rugby.

How do I know I will like it?

As mentioned by the girls in the video, there are many reasons why you might enjoy playing rugby. For some it’s about making new friends and enjoyment while others enjoy the hard work and team work involved. ‘Give it a Try’ is all about trying something new and giving rugby a go to see if you like it.

Amanda Greensmith is IRFU Women’s Development Manager.

“We’re hugely proud of the Canterbury Give It A Try programme and all the preparation that will make it a reality in 2020,” she told IrishRugby.ie.

“We’re taking a back to basics approach for this year. The focus will be on safety and fun over four weeks as clubs continue their #ReturnToRugby journey.

“We’ve seen in the past couple of years that participation in an introductory programme like this brings new members into clubs. We expect this year will be no different in that sense.”

There is a €10 fee for the four-week course which goes directly to the club.

If you’d like to find out more information or get involved, please contact marketingteam@canterbury.com

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