The Ballymena Rugby Womens Section was set up in September 2016. Since then it has become a thriving Womens Section with over 80 girls as members.
All of our coaches have successfully completed either Stages 1-3 or the Youth Coach course, organised by Ulster Rugby. The coaches are all Access NI cleared and have attended all mandatory courses required by Ulster Rugby such as Safeguarding.
The success of the female section is undoubtedly due to the hard work, support and efforts of our coaching team, committee, volunteers, players and parents.
New players are always welcome. For anyone interested regardless of playing experience or age, please feel free to contact either:-
Mark Hermin on 07818405449 or our Convenor Áine Fraser on 07809761028.
U16, U18 & Senior Womens
Wednesdays – 7.00 – 8.30pm
U12s & U14
Wednesdays – 6.45- 8.15pm
Wednesdays – 6.30-7.30pm
Wednesdays – 7.00 – 8.30pm
In addition to the growing Minis, U12 and U14 sections, Ballymena RFC is also home to teams at U16, U18 and Senior Womens. We have grown in numbers over the last view seasons and it is heartening to see between 20-30 girls and young ladies being put through their paces each week, by our dedicated coaching team.
Going forward our aim is to grow in numbers as this would provide a pathway for our girls to play out their rugby career at Ballymena but also to have greater player representation at provincial and international level whether it be 15 aside or 7s.
Training will consist of a senior player led warm up, followed by drills and skill work, all under the careful guidance and instruction of our coaching team. The skills are all taught in a controlled way ensuring that each player has an understanding of what is expected of them as well as how to carry out the skill/drill safely. For the majority of our girls, the sight of a tackling bag or the mention of a tackling drill brings a smile to their faces and it is very clear to see their enthusiasm when it comes to playing contact rugby. Again, this is something that is taught in a very controlled and safe manner as player safety is always key. Each player will work at a level they are comfortable with before progressing. Our training sessions usually end with a series of short matches giving the girls the opportunity to put their learning into practice.
Competitive matches for these age groups take different formats as U16s will play 7 aside matches whereas U18s and Seniors will play 15 aside. Both formats will include contact.
Matches played at U16 level gives the girls a very basic introduction to scrums and lineouts with the main emphasis being placed on ball handling, passing and tackling.
Playing at U18 and senior level gives the girls the opportunity to work on more position specific skills such as line work and scrummaging for the forwards with the backs working on their speed, foot work and kicking.
At U18 level players will have the opportunity to be selected for Ulster Trials and recently Ballymena was very pleased to have 5 girls, namely Christy Hill, Alice Livingston, Lexie Irvine, Ana Stinson and Sarah McBride, go forward for selection with, Christy Hill and Sarah McBride making it on to the Extended Player Squad where they will prepare for the forthcoming Interpros scheduled to take place in August 2021. All 5 girls must be commended for their hard work and dedication in the lead up to selection as the girls put in additional training sessions on the pitch as well as the gym and they also had the opportunity to work with some of the Club 1st XV players and coaches.
U12 & U14s
Wednesdays 6.45 – 8.15pm
Our aim in the U12s and U14s Womens section is to build on the skills they have learnt if they were part of the minis section but also to encourage girls of this age group to come along and learn a team sport designed for all girls, make new friends and have fun learning the sport of rugby.
When the girls progress up to our section from the minis we start with basic passing, attacking and defence formation including ruck defence. They initially train with no contact and we gradually introduce contact to the girls at this level of rugby. There is a safe progression from touch rugby to full contact.
We include many fun drills during a training session including games of touch progressing into tackle touch.
The girls have enjoyed numerous blitzes in the past and we hope to continue to get both age groups out to blitzes and matches in the coming season.
These are great days out and it gets the girls essential game time and experience as they prepare to progress up to the senior end of the womens section.
Local clubs also invite us down to their club to have a training match which is always a great session and fun to be involved in.
We welcome all new members to our age grade, no experience needed. If you’d like to come along and give rugby a try contact our Convenor Áine Fraser or the Womens Sections Head Coach Mark Hermin for more details.
Wednesdays 6.30 – 7.30pm
The Girls Minis Section was introduced in September 2019 to cater for girls in Primary 4 to 7. We now have girls from Primary 1 to 7 and our numbers have grown over the last two seasons and are continuing to do so.
The girls are split into two groups:- P1 – P3 and P4 – P7
Our aim in the Minis Section is to introduce the girls to rugby in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. The girls learn to share and play with their team mates, follow basic rules and improve their fundamental physical skills.
The training session is guaranteed to be full of laughing and cheering as the girls enjoy playing team building games introducing the skills of rugby.
“I watched my big brother play rugby for years – I really enjoy being able to play myself now with the other girls and have made lots of new friends” Amy aged 9
“I heard about rugby through school and wanted to join because I’d not played a team sport before. Training day is my favourite day of the week! I’ve made lots of new friends and I love learning new skills. My favourite things are tackling and passing.” Daisy aged 9
New girls start with non-contact games. Once the coaches see fit the girls are introduced the contact element of the game. For the girls who start mini rugby with us at the age of 6, tackling is developed from U8 in a safe and enjoyable manner.
A number of our girls have already progressed to the U12s section and are showing potential of being great players in the seniors section as they progress through the age groups.
In the past the girls have taken part in Give It A Try activities at our own Blitz in Ballymena as well as blitzes held in other clubs. We plan to continue attending these Blitzes in the coming season, not only because the girls enjoyed great days out developing their rugby skills, but also they got to meet new girls from other clubs and form new friendships.
The girls were also invited to represent Ulster at the Ireland v Wales Women’s International in Dublin in November 2019 where they were part of the guard of honour for the players as they came on the pitch. They also got to play a small game during half time with girls from Munster, Leinster and Connaught. It was an amazing experience for our girls!
If your daughter would like to give mini rugby a try we’d love to have her come along and join the fun. Please contact Áine for any details.
WOMENS - 2021/22