In the week of International Women’s Day, the U11 football team broke new ground as they became the first Rydal Penrhos girls’ football side to participate in a tournament competition.
One of the goals of modern liberal society is to ensure that every person, regardless their gender, has fair and equal access to opportunities. While we often think of this in terms of the weighty issues such as healthcare, education, employment and equal pay, it is equally true when it comes to access to sport and outdoor pursuits.
Rydal Penrhos has a proud history of women and girls putting themselves forward in sporting arenas that have been historically male dominated. From early mountaineering pioneer Hester Norris, who tackled some of the most difficult mountain ranges in Europe during the early 20th Century, to recent alumni including Laura Nunez-Mulder (RPS 2011-13), who, during her time at Cambridge University, became a key member of their women’s rugby team, even representing ‘the Blues’ at historic Twickenham Stadium.
In the week of International Women’s Day, it was fitting that our Under 11 girls’ football team made their own contribution to this proud tradition as they became the first side to represent Rydal Penrhos in a girls’ football tournament, travelling to Llandrillo College to take part in an Urdd competition.
Despite near freezing conditions, the U11 girls played with smiles on their faces as they expressed themselves with real determination and flair. Their play was a true validation of all the hard work that the team put in training for this all-important tournament debut.
Unfortunately, despite close games against Ysgol Porth-y-Felin, Ysgol Sant Elfod, Ysgol San Sior and Ysgol Glanwydden, the team narrowly missed out on qualification to the knock-out section. Nonetheless, they can be immensely proud of their performances, and with some practice to their finishing can hope to go much deeper into tournaments going forwards.
With this in mind, attention will now turn towards their next competition, which will take place at the state-of-the-art Manchester City Academy, which has developed several leading Women’s Super League players. With women’s football growing at a prodigious rate, especially in light of the Lionesses’ European Championship triumph last July, we can expect our U11s team’s latest venture to be only the tip of the iceberg!