St Mary's Women's rugby team in training
A LIMERICK city women’s rugby side which has re-emerged after a two year hiatus is on the look-out for new members.
St Mary’s ladies rugby club has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, and has started to compete again in division two of the Munster Women’s League.
A five-strong committee has been put in place, and they are on the look out for new sponsors, volunteers, and perhaps most crucially of all, team members.
“We need a lot of members. the more players we have, the better. It gives competition on the team and cover for injuries. It means people will not have to get back as quickly, and can rest and recover that bit longer,” says committee member Tanya Barrett, from Thomondgate.
Rugby in the city, she adds, is more popular than GAA and soccer – and having a ladies side in St Mary’s Park will prevent a loss of talent to other clubs.
“It’s great for the girls’ confidence, and it’s a challenge to them, to take up a short they would only see men playing normally,” Tanya adds.
Samantha Cropper from the St Mary’s Parish adds: “There is no progression at the moment for the under-age girls. They would normally go to other clubs outside the area, which is not fair. They should be kept within the club. There should be somewhere for them to go, but at present, they’d leave for other clubs like Bohs and Shannon. Why should we lose our best players after all the hard work we have put into them.”
The men’s club have helped the women’s side re-emerge with some financial backing – but the committee would prefer other backing to allow them to stand on their own two feet, as it were.
“There is no money in ladies rugby. The men’s club has helped a little bit, but we are not getting as much as we could be. We want to stand on our own two feet,” Samantha adds.
Since St Mary’s Ladies Rugby Club started up again, there has been an increase of interest in the sport among youngsters in the parish.
“We have had new members coming down and they have never played rugby before this. They are just three or four weeks playing. One girl is a champion weight-lifter, and she’s played a few games for us these last few weeks, and she’s been great," Samantha says.
Northside Independent councilor Frankie Daly, who has been providing assistance to the girls, encouraged people to get behind the new side.
He said: “It's a recreational opportunity for girls to meet some new friends and win some trophies. These girls are very competitive and want to improve.”
St Mary’s Ladies Rugby Club train three times a week – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights.
To get involved, call Samantha Cropper at 087-6267317.