Ahead of their new season launch in a fortnight’s time, the West Swansea Hawks were joined by the Ospreys for their final training session of the winter block on Monday evening.
Will Jones and Joe Thomas joined the girls rugby cluster to lend a hand in coaching the side on their last training session of the 2018 season. After having to cancel almost half of their sessions last year due to the bad weather, the West Swansea Hawks utilised nearby facilities to ensure their season carried on throughout the winter after huge demand from the girls who wanted to play rugby on a weekly basis.
Speaking about the club, coach Keith Pritchard said: “The West Swansea Hawks has grown massively over the past few years. When we started back in the summer of 2016, we had around 20 girls signed up. This year we’re looking at around 100 girls for registration which just shows how far we’ve come in terms of participation and growing as a club.”
Set up as a girls only club, the West Swansea Hawks was one of five girls rugby clusters in the Ospreys region known collectively as the Hawks. Offering all forms of rugby for girls including tag, touch and full contact the Hawks regularly take part in games against other clusters and clubs and also compete in the Ospreys touch league as part of Ospreys in The Community.
Pritchard said: “We tend to have the same sort of response from the girls. They don’t want to play mixed rugby and they don’t want to play with the boys because the boys don’t pass to them. I think we’re really lucky that we can offer that platform for the girls who want to play rugby. They can play with girls of the same age, the same ability and the same sort of physicality which can only help them in their progression. Girls growing up in that atmosphere and wanting to come back week on week is just a huge positive for both us and them.”
Monday’s training session was also the stage for an exciting new launch for the club, with the announcement that Gorseinon Ladies RFC and Pontarddulais RFC are amalgamating to form the West Swansea Hawks Ladies.
The club’s primary aim is to foster, grow and support a sustainable pathway for girls’ rugby in the area, the new launch now provides the clear route for the girls currently at the club.
“The merge between Gorseinon Ladies and Pontardulais is huge for the club” said Pritchard. “It gives us that clear pathway from U7s all the way through to senior level, which isn’t really offered anywhere else at this point in time. Having this structure in place will give the girls that clear focus to progress within the club and reach that top level which hopefully will then feed into the Swansea Whites and the Osprey women sides.”
It’s great to see the Osprey players like Will and Joe get involved with the side too, having senior boys come along really makes the girls feel included. Also our ambassador, Siwan Lillicrap coming along to help with our training is really inspiring for the girls in having those positive role models.”
The West Swansea Hawks will launch for their brand-new season on Monday 4th March at Gowerton RFC, 6-7:30pm.
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