Traditionally, It has been a man’s world (to use the song title) when it came to the game of Rugby. While that might have been the case, it certainly cannot be said now given the increase in interest and participation. In fact, one could say that the amount of young girls interested in playing the game has grown to such an extent that clubs are now going to great lengths to include a women’s programme and are now reaping the benefits of having more girls playing the game than ever before.
One Club that has done a lot of things right from the bottom up is Galway Corinthians RFC. Cups and medals are all fine and grand and they come in time, but for Corinthians, they have worked on the participation side and most crucially the enjoyment side of the game.
Corinthians had women’s rugby in the 90’s when Donal O’Leary was the head coach. More recently, when the women’s game was revived, people like Kieran and Rhoda Browne, Niall Duffy and Mark Deegan among others worked hard to bring the programme back and now through the work of Yvonne Comer and programmes like the Canterbury Give it a Try Programme which is aimed at getting new female players between 8-14 involved in the sport, and thanks to the dedication of the coaches has had a high conversion rate into club membership, Corinthians now has a very strong Women’s Rugby Section with large numbers now playing at underage level and the possibility of bring senior women’s rugby back to the club in the coming season.
For Yvonne, the last twelve months have been a testing one but incredibly historic. Just a couple of months ago, Yvonne made history by becoming one of the first two women ever to be club nominated onto the IRFU Exectutive Council. An incredible achievement as she was first nominated by her club and then put forward by the Connacht Branch.
Players have now come through the age grades with the majority of players from this team retained at U18.5 and feeding into the newly established senior squad. That work at underage has also seen representation at provincial level with Caoimhe Geraghty, Dara Moran and Fodhla Ni Bhraoinain getting Connacht U18 caps in the 2019/2020 season and Aibidh Ni Mhaille, Eabha Nic Donnacha and Aifric Ni Ghibne achieving the same with Connacht U18’s this season.
This season also saw senior caps coming back to the club with Rhiann Heery making an appearance on the Connacht Senior team, a massive achievement bearing in mind that the plans for implementing a senior structure had to be put on hold due to Covid.
Thanks to the support of volunteers from coaches, managers, S&C, to covid officers and most importantly, the parents, the girls and women’s section has continued to grow particularly within the mini’s and U14’s age grades and Due to this growth and ambition Corinthians are now recruiting for additional qualified coaches and managers across all the teams to continue to provide the best experience for the players as expansion continues.
If you are interested in joining Corinthians as a coach and being part of one of the fastest growing aspects of the game in Connacht and indeed the world, then contact Yvonne on 087 – 2237284.