Batley expand womens offering

The Batley Bulldogs have expanded their women’s offering and launched three new women’s teams.

Batley started its first female side, an Under-15s team, last year. The initiative was a big success and the Bulldogs have started three more female squads.

“Last year the U15s won the RFL league and were the first girls team in history to tour Australia,” Craig Taylor, Batley Bulldogs Women and girls development officier, told Love Rugby League.

“On their tour of Queensland last October they played against the best female U16s teams from down under. The Bulldogs team beat the Queensland state grand finalists 14-8, then lost narrowly to a Sunshine Coast rep team 20-12, then just lost out to the undefeated Australian school U16s champions 14-4.”

In 2016 the Bulldogs are running Under-12s, Under-14s and Under-16s aged teams and will also be entering a women’s team this winter in the WRLA league, then in the RFL summer competition next year.

“The U16s girls are involved in a full inclusive rugby league program,” Taylor explained.

“They train three nights per week with the club then Tuesday and Thursday on their own. The U16s have been give gym membership for the full year.

“They will also be introduced to video analysis of their games this season. They also have their own sports therapist, and nutritional advice.

“With Batley and Bradford now fully running female teams hopefully other pro clubs will get on board and help drive the female game forward. It’s a great product and there are some really good players in the girls and women’s comp.

“The sport just needs backers to develop it to its full potential.”

Taylor is hopeful that the club’s women’s teams can continue to grow.
“The club love the girls being part of the club,” he said.

“At the teams kit launch the girls were invited as guests on return from Australia. John Kear interviewed a few of the girls that night in front of the Batley fans.

“Now I have fans at the club asking for the girls fixture list to come watch them. It’s a fast growing sport. We just need to keep it in the public eye.”

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