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Thirty girls take part in area’s first ‘opt in’ rugby academy

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Thirty girls take part in area’s first ‘opt in’ rugby academy

Thirty Renfrewshire girls rolled up their sleeves earlier this week to take part in the area’s first ‘opt in’ rugby academy and give the sport a try.

Youngsters from primary 6 through to sixth year were given expert coaching from the council’s rugby development officer, Lindsey Smith, who also plays for the Scottish women’s team.

They also heard first hand how enjoyable rugby is from two local teenagers who only took up the sport this time last year – and now make the national under-20s team.

Amanda Moore (from Paisley) and Lauren Hagan (from Bridge of Weir), both 17, were coached in the sport for the first time last year at a rugby development day and now play for the Scottish women’s under-20s team.

Lindsey said: “Rugby is a fantastic sport. It helps youngsters develop key skills such as decision making and working as part of a team while encouraging them to be active and gain fitness and strength.

“As a female rugby player and coach, I think it’s really important that girls realise that rugby is very much a sport they can take part in and enjoy. The academy was fantastic and I was delighted that Amanda and Lauren came along and show the younger girls just how fun rugby is.”

While girls’ rugby sessions have taken place in Renfrewshire as part of school PE – this is the first time an ‘opt-in’ academy has taken place. It includes learning the laws of the game, learning to run and avoid tacklers and tackle techniques.

The academy will continue into the New Year on Wednesday afternoons at Castlehead High. Anyone interested in taking part should call 0141 842 3000.

Councillor Susan McDonald, Renfrewshire Council’s Sports Champion, said: “The girls’ rugby academy is a wonderful idea. There’s an ideal sport out there for everyone, and I’d urge Renfrewshire girls to give rugby a try. Who knows? You could enjoy the sport as much as Amanda and Lauren and get to be part of the national team one day.”

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.