Letchworth's rugby girls in elite squad

PUBLISHED: 11:17 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:17 06 May 2010

SIX Letchworth GC girls are included in the first 20 girls to take part in the rugby section of the Hertfordshire s Athlete Support Programme. The county s Sports Partnership launched the scheme in 2004. Since then rugby has been one of six sports whose m

SIX Letchworth GC girls are included in the first 20 girls to take part in the rugby section of the Hertfordshire's Athlete Support Programme.

The county's Sports Partnership launched the scheme in 2004. Since then rugby has been one of six sports whose most promising young players have benefited from the programme.

But up until now all the places have been restricted to members of the county's boys' teams.

However, following the growth and success of girls' rugby in the county the organiser of the rugby section of the programme, Peter Engledow of Herts RFU, has changed the policy and offered half of the places for 2006/7 to the leading 20 girls in the county.

The girls, aged between 13 and 15, have been selected by the county coaching team and come from five different clubs, Fullerians, Hertford, Letchworth, Saracens, and Welwyn, in itself an indication of the strength of the game in the county.

But its particularly impressive for Letchworth as a club. The other four teams are well established in the world of women's and girls' rugby, but girls' rugby at Letchworth is less than two years old, so to have close to a third of the players in the programme coming from the club is a remarkable performance.

All of the Letchworth contingent began their rugby at Legends Lane, and some have only just completed their first season of rugby, but all have already played for either Hertfordshire or East Region.

The Letchworth girls chosen for the scheme are Nikki Alcock (14), Hayley Guilder (15), Carla Kelly (14), Jess Robinson (14), Natalie Threlfall (14), and Emily Vivian (14).

The girls will now take part in a series of fitness and conditioning evenings in June and July at the University of Hertfordshire's Sports Village, which is also the training base for Saracens.

Lead by the University's Sports and Social Science Officer, Fiona Castree, they and their parents will also receive advice on nutrition, sports psychology, and lifestyle management (balancing school life with training) throughout the rest of the year.

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