After a break of about 20 years, there is once again a Women’s Rugby Team in Windsor!
That was the headline on the club website in 2013, when a healthy mix of experienced players and complete novices took on the mammoth task of reforming a Ladies Team as part of Windsor Rugby Club.
Training started with a handful of ladies mixing fitness, with skills, contact and games. The squad quickly grew to around 18-20 and soon entered some social 7s and 10s tournaments – the inaugural one being the Reading Abbey Fat Blokes in July of 2013.
With a Men’s 7s team being called the ‘Knights’, and training and playing being in the shadow of Windsor Castle, the ladies decided to dub themselves the ‘Windsor Dames’…this helped create a bond and identity, and it's fair to say that there was quite a buzz building within the section already!
The speed at which the ladies, many new to the game, learned and progressed was astounding (many men's teams should take note!) to such an extent that an application was put to the RFU to enter the league system. A season of friendlies followed to show we had the ability, depth and drive to enter the league in the 2014/15 season. It took some time, and a lot of tears sweat (and even some blood) to register that first elusive win, but after a rocky start the team hasn’t looked back and were registered as a league club in the National Challenge South East 1 West section for the 2014/15 season.
The wider Windsor Rugby Club has been extremely supportive, providing a backroom team that many a Men’s 1st XV would envy. We have a Manager, Physio, experienced Referee (to guide on the finer points on the Laws of rugby) and 3 dedicated / deranged / mad (delete as appropriate) Level 2 coaches. To round it off, the Dames have their own logo, playing kit (and not a borrowed / hand-me-down male kit either!) and a growing band of followers within the club and the wider Windsor community supporting what is now a squad of 40+ women registered and ready to play.
In our first league season we finished joint top (second on points difference) and were promoted – an amazing achievement for a team formed less than 2 years earlier! To add to the success, we were finalists at the Reading Abbey Fat Blokes 7s 2015, where most of the Dames were beginners or supporters only 2 years before.
The 2015/16 season sees the Windsor Dames playing in the National Challenge 1 South East League against; Newbury, Richmond III, Reading, Havant, Cheltenham II, Reading Abbey, Crowthorne and Guildford.
The summer pre-season has been full on since the middle of June and the team is raring to go!
Anyone wanting to come and join will be very welcome - any age or ability, experienced or complete beginner – you will have fun with us! We will help you get fit and provide you with the opportunity to learn our great game.
If you want to give it a go or take a look just come down to the club on Wednesday evening ready to go at 7.30pm.
For more information or any questions please email the Rugby Chairman, and Dames Manager, Paul Laidler at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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