- Angelique Aldworth has transformed rugby at Teignmouth RFC
- Get involved in women's rugby here
Teignmouth RFC first introduced women’s rugby in April 2014 when Angelique and Colin Aldworth started on a mission which now sees not only women’s rugby at the club but an ever expanding girls’ section.
Angelique was the driving force, having realised that when daughter Ava got to 11 she would have no squad and Colin, who is head of rugby and coach to the men’s first team, agreed to coach the emerging women’s team as well.
"I've seen the shyest of women emerge out of their shells through this sport, surprise themselves, delight their families and empower their lives.”
Now Ava is in the girls’ U13s, there’s a team at U15 and one player who has gone on to Exeter College has joined the Exeter Chiefs women’s academy.
“It hasn’t been plain sailing and our women’s section is still developing," says Says Angelique.
"Next season we hope to either play in a Merit Table or maybe the league.
"What we hadn’t really prepared for, however, was the numbers of girls wanting to play. We have at least 30 regularly training and playing and now some of our women’s team are helping to coach their daughters.”
Angelique herself is a qualified coach and is on the road to becoming a coach developer too. For her rugby is a real passion. She is still playing for the women aged 41 and is about to do a foundation course at university in coaching and fitness.
“I’m very aware that girls benefit from learning rugby’s values and having a physical outlet for current life and all the pressure that comes with it.
Being a teenager today is a minefield and there's no better way to handle it all than to be part of a group of like-minded, supportive young women.
“Rugby provides that in a way that I've never seen in any other sport. I've seen the shyest of women emerge out of their shells through this sport, surprise themselves, delight their families and empower their lives.”
The Teignmouth club has signed the Quilter Kids First Pledge, which puts young players and their enjoyment first.
Angelique loves the way rugby provides an inclusive and enjoyable sport for youngsters and son Larry will be able to sign up for Teignmouth’s U7s next season.
“Having the Red Roses playing here in the West Country will be pivotal," adds Angelique.
"The game at Sandy Park is a marker and I believe that as a result of this Test match here in Devon the growth in women’s and girls’ rugby in the area will be phenomenal.”