What is the present situation in the ladies’ section, how many ladies are signed up and what division/league are you playing in this season?
Currently we are lucky enough to have girls scattered amongst the club's Mini and Junior sections, with 30+ in our designated U13, U15 and U18 age groups. Around 40 ladies registered to play for the Seniors so yeah we are in a good place to build from throughout the club. The Baby Belles are in their respective waterfalls and cup competitions and the Ladies play in the Women's Challenge Series South East (West)... a little bit of a mouth full but a great league with other ambitious teams.
2. What are your aspirations for the future with regard to the ladies, do you see yourselves as a group that improves players and then moves them onto more established, higher level clubs or would you like to spend the next few years building a team that can compete with those at a higher level?
Women's Rugby is such a fast growing sport and it's great to be in a position to accommodate a variety of ages and abilities at High Wycombe RUFC. Our ultimate goal for the senior ladies is to have 2 teams, one more competitive which would be able to challenge our players in higher leagues and the other team more social to help develop our newer players and include us oldies, keep us playing and out of trouble. This would mean we can offer even more playing opportunities to ladies who want to get involved at any level.
We will always have players who come and go for various reasons but as long as we inspire them to keep playing rugby, I believe that's all that matters.
3. How important is the girls’ section to you and are you able to transition the girls into the senior section easily?
It's hugely important to me. I am lucky enough to coach the Under 13 and 15's, a brilliant, intelligent and funny group of girls. I love the opportunity to share my passion for rugby with them, watch them develop their skills and try to have some fun whilst we are there.
Coaching has helped me become a better player and made me aware of the talent coming through, it's quite frightening how skillful the girls are at their age. We are looking to build a plan involving the coaches of each age group and senior Belles to set the direction and transition of the girls/ladies as they move along their rugby journey.
4. Would you like to change anything about the playing structure at High Wycombe?
Not really, no. I am a big believer in being and staying part of the club, if that makes sense. When you put on a Wycombe shirt before a game you are representing the club whether you have a pink stripe on it or not. This has to continue off the pitch as far as I am concerned. Communication can always be better, processes can always be smoother within clubs and High Wycombe is no exception but it could be alot worse. High Wycombe RFC is focused on the future and my main aim is to make sure the ladies and girls are a big part of it.
5. What are you most looking forward to for the new season?
From a playing point of view we have some really exciting players I can't wait to get on a field alongside. So many of our ladies are new to rugby and it's been amazing to see the progression in such a short space of time thanks to their teammates and our brilliant coaching team.
From a coaching perspective, I'm looking forward to overcoming whatever challenge the girls throw at me this year, or at least trying to.
6. If money was no object, what would you buy/change at the club?
Wow, this is a difficult question! If the walls of our clubhouse could talk, eh? The history lesson would be awesome, maybe a little cringy at times but an interesting listen. You would definitely need to keep them, just do a little updating upstairs, put in some disabled access, the changing rooms could be better laid out to accommodate the growing youth and junior sections - things can get a little tricky when the Boys and Girls have matches.
Could we get a 4G pitch put in where we train? Some new floodlights? Couple of quid for a pint?
Thanks to Kayleigh Winslade for her thoughtful answers and congratulations to the Belles who are currently unbeaten in their league so far this season (27th November 2019).