The Rugby Football League has launched an exciting new project to encourage more primary school aged girls to take up the sport.
RugBees is open to girls aged 7-11 and will be delivered on a weekly basis by club foundations to help them develop their confidence in areas such as catching, passing and kicking – whilst having plenty of fun too. It’s the first Rugby League programme to be developed specifically for primary school aged girls and the RFL has chosen the popular RLWC2021 mascot RugBee to bring the project to life.
Each session will be an hour long, beginning with an introduction to the game’s technical skills and finishing with a non-contact form of the game such as Tag or Touch. Parents and guardians will be encouraged to cheer children on throughout.
The ground-breaking project was unveiled at Headingley last month (Tuesday 28 March) by St Helens and England star Jodie Cunningham, who is also the RFL’s National Women’s and Girl’s Development Manager.
Jodie explains: “I am so pleased that we were able to announce the launch of RugBees at the Women’s Super League season launch – it’s a full circle moment for the game. There is so much evidence to support that playing sport in a mixed gender setting isn’t right for all young girls and can be a barrier to participation which is why we are introducing RugBees to help tackle this.”
The charity ‘Women in Sport’ recently revealed the findings of research into why girls as young as five years old don’t feel they belong in sport. The report – Sport, stereotypes and stolen dreams: Why girls still feel they don’t belong in sport – found that over half of parents (57%) said their daughter had felt excluded from sport, with a quarter (26%) confirming their daughter had been told ‘it wasn’t for girls’.
Jodie continues: “When I read the report I was really saddened to find out how excluded young girls feel from physical activity – and it proves why RugBees is such an important project. The sessions will give girls a fun and enjoyable environment to play Rugby League and build their confidence up to a place where hopefully they will then want to join a team and play competitively. The Rugby League World Cup and the HeRLegacy series had a fantastic impact on the girl’s game, and we have to keep that momentum going.”
RugBees will officially kick off in April with club foundations asking a nominal fee per session. England Women’s World Cup campaign and the HeRLegacy series has helped attract hundreds of players to Rugby League taster sessions and the introduction of RugBees means there is now a girl’s only offer for 7-11-year-olds for the very first time.
The Panthers will be running our own sessions starting Saturday 15th April 10am-11am at Halifax Rugby Union, Ovenden Park, Keighley Road, HX2 8AR. To register your interest or for more information, please contact Community Development and Engagement Manager Kara Colvin via email firstname.lastname@example.org