Let’s Light up the Ladies

Let's Light up the Ladies

Winscombe Rugby Club

Source: Aviva Community Fund

The Winscombe Rugby Club motto is Friendship through Rugby and we are exceptionally proud that this runs through everything we do. This is also major reason why this year we have added our first Ladies team to our club. We saw an opportunity to welcome women of all ages from Winscombe and beyond as fully participating members of our wonderful sporting and social community. The women who have been mums and wives, girlfriends and daughters, have joined our Men and Boys, Girls and Minis as our first Ladies rugby team. 

There is a dark side though – night time training without lights. Winscombe Rugby Club needs to Light up our Ladies.

Our club has successfully integrated girls and young women into our club in junior and underage teams. In 2016 our Under 15 and Under 18 girls achieved the ultimate success, becoming the RFU National Champions. This gave all our members, seniors, boys and girls a great sense of pride. 

Unfortunately however, those junior girls are often lost to sport once they finish school or outgrow their age group. There has been no pathway for girls to play local rugby once they leave the juniors. This is a challenging time for young women in many aspects of their life. Leaving sport impacts their physical, mental and emotional health and can impact their family life and friendships as well as their education.

At Winscombe Rugby Club, we want to keep girls playing. We want their mums, their sisters and their friends to play and to make friends through rugby. So this year we have formed our first Ladies team. Women have been supporting our club in so many other ways over the years, by bringing their children, supporting their husbands and boyfriends, their brothers and in some cases their fathers, who have played for our Club. These women have been the backbone of our club, and now we are offering them the ultimate chance for participation as a rugby player at Winscombe RFC. 

There are currently 5 fields around our club for our 6 senior mens and colts teams, our 7 junior boys and girls teams, our 7 mini teams and our ladies team to train and play. Only 1 of these fields is sufficiently lit to train at night, so we struggle to provide space for all our teams. Our ladies team suffers the most, having to fit in to a field that hasn't already been the domain of teams that have had a particular time slot and field over the past years. So in order for our new ladies team to train at night, which is necessary due to family and work commitments, we need to light up our fields. 

We have recently borrowed portable lights to test what we need to adequately light a field for the ladies to train. We believe that 4 portable lights with generators would enable us the flexibility to train on any of our 4 currently unlit fields. 

Research and experience shows that physical activity, sport, and being part of a team supports the positive mental and physical health of all. Our women are often lost to sport due to family and work and limited opportunities. We know that some of our girls and ladies have experienced mental health issues which has impacted on their studies, their friendships, their families and their sport. We know that a supportive community and the opportunity to be physically active in a non threatening environment can have a significant impact on their mental health. 

At Winscombe Rugby Club we are committed to offering our women a safe and welcoming place to play our great game in an encouraging and supportive environment. We want to ensure the girls and women at our club can always be active and be fully participating members of our club. 

We want the best for the women in our community. We want to Light Up our Ladies.

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset