News & EventsLatest NewsCalendar


Gary Bird22 Feb - 22:58
Share via

Club plays important part in pathway process

East London Rugby Club’s part in mentoring young girls into rugby is profiled in a new short film produced by England Rugby.

The nine-minute Real Rugby Stories film follows students aged between 11 and 18 from Morpeth School in Bethnal Green who have formed the club’s new girls’ pathway to rugby programme.

The pathway project sees the club working with girls from the school who wanted to start their own their own rugby programme. Their teacher John Mulholland, a former player at East London, contacted the club and they have now found a home at Memorial Park in West Ham and a pathway to playing for the East London RFC Vixens ladies’ side. Almost 40 girls from multiple ethnic backgrounds are now taking their first steps into club rugby.

On Thursday evenings the girls travel together as a group on public transport to and from the club. Teacher and coach John said: “My daughter always wanted to play rugby which is part of my life, but there are very few places in the inner London boroughs for girls to do so, so I thought I’d start a club at my school. I advertised it and surprisingly a group turned up, not knowing what they were getting themselves involved into, and they were mad for it.”

The girls from mixed age grades began by playing tag rugby, with older members of the group then mentoring younger ones and running some of the sessions themselves. As confidence and rugby ability grew and they decided they wanted to play more rugby, John contacted his former club.

John said: “I asked East London about setting up girls age grade rugby at the club and they have been brilliant. They have donated kit and equipment and we have our own area of the changing rooms. We train before the Vixens ladies’ side but there is a bit of an overlap where we join in their sessions. It’s been dramatic.”

Vixens’ player Megan Hogg, who appears in the film with teammate Lea Saulue-Laborde, said: “It is incredible that the girls have got this outlet outside of school. They are making friends with people they may not have met before and learning new skills. It’s great.”

Further reading