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Canterbury NZ Aim To Grow Grassroots Female Rugby With Girls Rugby Club Partnership

Canterbury and Girls rugby club

Last updated on September 28th, 2023 at 01:22 PM

Iconic rugby brand Canterbury has teamed up with Girls Rugby Club, a unique platform for girls who love rugby, to create a special celebration of the female game featuring legendary players and the opportunity for future stars to develop their skills.

Taking place at Beccehamians Rugby Football Club, the first event between the two organisations saw young female players take on a series of challenges and drills including passing, catching, kicking, power, speed, endurance, evasion and awareness.

In attendance on the day were Canterbury Ambassadors and female rugby icons; Jodie Ounsley, Abi Burton and Charlie Willett, in addition to Girls Rugby Club founder and former England ace, Rachael Burford.

Founded by England international and Harlequins centre Rachael Burford, the Girls Rugby Club is about opening doors within the sport and cementing a pathway for the future. 

Burford commented: “Our aim is to  provide dedicated programmes and resources that empower girls to play their best game and live their best lives.

“The community aspect is massively important. In society, you can end up going down one route and get stuck there. In a rugby community, you’re always welcomed and loved, and that community allows you to thrive and become who you want to be.

For me, from the age of 6, the clubhouse felt like home and I want Girls Rugby Club to be the same for these girls. This isn’t just about rugby, it’s on and off the pitch.

“Our camps are not to find the next superstar. For me, it is about helping these girls realise how they can feel confident, have greater self esteem to become what they want to become, with rugby being the vehicle for that. If we find some incredible rugby players on the way, then that’s great!

“Canterbury want to become more visible and create more opportunities in womens and girls rugby. They honour the same values as GRC,  and to be able to bring this forward today is thanks to the partnership.

To be with a leading brand like Canterbury, who wants to front something like this is fantastic, and hopefully there are plenty more to come.”

Jodie Ounsley, Canterbury Ambassador and England International, added: “Me and the other players were saying how if we had something like Girls Rugby Club at the start of our journey, we’d have loved it. It’s been a pretty special day to be involved with. 

“Girls are coming up to me after the drills and asking me about how they can become confident. It’s all to do with confidence, a lot of girls doubt themselves from a young age.

I was the same as these girls and it comes with time, and camps like this are so important for young girls to develop as people. I’m really honoured to be able to help and it means a lot to me.

“It’s great to have Canterbury involved and credit to them. I’ve been with them as an Ambassador for a couple of years now, and the work they do on inclusivity and growing the women’s game is exactly what we need.”

Simon Rowe, Canterbury VP of Sports Marketing commented:

“Canterbury is passionate about helping drive participation in female rugby and continuing to knock down the barriers to playing, whilst helping inspire the next generation of players to thrive in the game.

Partnering with the inspirational Girls Rugby Club, led by rugby icon Rachel Burford, delivers on our aims to help grow the game with young grassroots female players, providing an opportunity to learn and engage with some of the best in the game, including a fantastic day at a grassroots club, Beccehamians RFC, with the club network so vital in driving the future of our game.”