Satellite Clubs - Female Participation in Rugby Union

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    11th June 2018

Tags: rugby, GMsatelliteclubs, #SuccessStories

Satellite Clubs aim to remove the barriers which stop teenagers regularly participating in physical activity.

Through the initiative, GreaterSport offer funding for sport and physical activity clubs in Greater Manchester, to implement programmes aimed at getting 14-19 year-olds more active.

Satellite Clubs help sports at grass-roots level by providing opportunities which would otherwise not be available.

Female Participation in Rugby Union

Bolton Rugby Union FC applied for funding in an attempt to encourage more females to take part in rugby union.

Prior to the funding there were no opportunities for girls above the age of 12 to play Rugby Union in Bolton, as it was not played in local High Schools.

“It meant that girls who were playing at young ages either had to find another club elsewhere because there’s not that many, or they were just never playing again,” said Peter Gore, a committee member for Bolton RUFC.

As a result the club, in conjunction with Thornleigh Salesian College, delivered rugby taster sessions to 10 schools in the local area.

“Our aim was purely to encourage girls to take part in the sport,” said Peter.

“We hope to one day have our own ladies team, but until then we just want everyone to have the opportunity to play rugby.

Even if it means we generated the interest and we took them to other clubs, we’d rather do that and have them play than not play at all.”

The taster session was such a popular idea that more schools signed up than anticipated, and Peter had to call in a few favours with the numerous club volunteers to ensure the programme ran smoothly.

In fact, it was so successful that two schools have continued their involvement with the sport and have gone on to work with Lancashire and England Rugby.

One of those schools – Bolton Muslim School - were of particular pride for those running the session, as many of the girls had never before played rugby.

Bolton RUFC have been so encouraged by the response from the taster sessions that they have applied to Sport England to launch a 12-month coaching programme.

The club have over 40 volunteer coaches across their 15 teams, which comprises of around 450 players.

Bolton RUFC are involved in a range of community projects, including coaching in over 50 schools and have links with the other local rugby union and league clubs, the University of Bolton and Sale Sharks.

For more information about Satellite Clubs visit:

Download the case study here.