Ever since the first campfire was lit over a century ago, Girlguiding has shared the same values as rugby of teamwork, respect, honesty and an enjoyment of physical activity. However, the opportunity to combine the two has not always presented itself – until now.
In response to the results of a nationwide survey conducted by Girlguiding UK, Girlguiding Cymru and the Welsh Rugby Union have struck up a trailblazing partnership that will see rugby introduced to female pupils in schools across the Principality. When asked what sport they’d like to try in school nearly a quarter of the girls canvassed chose rugby.
Members of all sections of Girlguiding Cymru (starting with Rainbows) will now be able to work towards a Welsh Rugby badge, while guide leaders have been put through a WRU coaching qualification to enable them to oversee rugby games within their girlguiding units. There will also be opportunities to link up with girls-only summer clusters around Wales.
Wales international and Team GB rugby sevens Olympian Jasmine Joyce, a former guide herself, is an ambassador for the scheme.
“When I was in the guides, the activities tended to mainly involve arts and crafts and problem-solving so I think this is a brilliant addition for girlguiding. You make some of your best friends in rugby, and it’s great that we’re working with the clusters to provide new opportunities for guides to get involved in our game.”
Click HERE to watch a video about the partnership
Gabriella Doyle, Sports Development Officer for Girlguiding Cymru, believes the partnership could help to break down gender stereotypes even further.
“After receiving a Calls4Action grant from Sport Wales, we have been able to provide new opportunities for thousands of our members and a 'Give it a go' attitude with regards to getting more young women and children engaged in sport and physical literacy,” Doyle said.
"Rugby is such a momentous occasion in Wales, the women's team have done so well so it's great that our members can be part of this too. We know that our members are very excited about this partnership with Welsh Rugby Union and it could help change the perceptions of many young girls across Wales."
The WRU believes there is a place for everyone in rugby and is keen to work with Girlguiding to provide new opportunities and make connections with the girls-only clusters around Wales.
Katy Evans, WRU Game Changer for Women and Girls, said: “The collaboration with Girlguiding will help both organisations in our aims to provide more opportunities for girls and young women, in terms of playing, but also coaching or volunteering. Hopefully, we can help create some new role models for the guides and encourage more women and girls into our game.”
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