A NEW initiative to get girls into rugby in Builth Wells has exploded into life in its inaugural weeks – attracting more than 80 players.

Builth Wells Rugby Club received an overwhelming response after putting out a survey asking youngsters to register their interest in starting up a girl's section at the club, with the first session taking place on Wednesday, April 13, and attracting a huge number of players.

Girls from the town were joined by others from all over Radnorshire, Breconshire and even Montgomeryshire, with girls coming from Landrindod, Rhayader, Llanbister, Llanwrtyd, Brecon and Llanidloes.

Wayne Morris, the local hub rugby development officer, is overseeing the project and he’s been blown away by the response in the first few weeks.

“The response has been huge, it’s been brilliant and we’ve had more numbers every week,” he said.

County Times: The hope is for the club to ultimately establish girl's and female sections. Pics Ema Davies The hope is for the club to ultimately establish girl's and female sections. Pics Ema Davies

Morris’ role as a development officer is a joint one with his local club, Builth, as well as Ysgol Calon Cymru, which has campuses in Builth and Llandrindod, as well as the Welsh Rugby Union. He oversees rugby development from ages six all the way up to youth level (18), which includes overseeing 13 local primary schools.

“Builth has always been massive in terms of rugby, especially for a small town, so to not have had a girl’s or female section ever, I think it’s overdue,” said Morris, who introduced the survey after being inundated with requests from parents and daughters wanting to play with other girls.

“But so many mums had been asking me about a girl’s section. The kids were super keen to get involved and so were the mums, so much so that we’re now planning to set up a separate committee, with 13 or 14 girls on it, while others want to coach too.”

The girl’s section will run during the summer months, from April to September, after the male season has finished – that way, Morris and Co will be able to focus solely on the future of the girls’ game locally.

“The feedback has been huge so hopefully it can now develop so it can be set up for years to come,” said Morris.

“It’s been a great start but now we want to one day be able to get a girls’ youth team and a ladies full team. The publicity is huge at the minute with the youth team winning a national final last weekend, so it’s the perfect time to capitalise on this.”

County Times: The new initiative has gained a huge following in its first few weeks, with around 80 girls attending sessions. Pics Ema Davies

Former Wales international Jenny Davies, born in Builth and who lives locally, has attended early sessions, while the Builth youth team attended training last night (April 27) and brought the Welsh Youth Cup with them – they beat Bridgend Athletic 44-17 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff last Saturday.

Training takes place every Wednesday evening from 6pm on the Lant Fields behind Builth High School – all ages 6-16 welcome, with training being held throughout the summer.

The schedule for each session is: U7 and U8 6-7pm, U9 and U10 6-7pm, U11 and U12 7-8pm, U13 and U14 7-8pm and U15 and U16 7-8pm.

For this to be successful, organisers are hoping for lots of volunteers to sit on the new committee. The first meeting to fill roles is being held tonight (Thursday, April 28) at 6.30pm at the rugby clubhouse in town.

For further information or to get involved, get in touch with the local hub officer Wayne Morris on 07791 887712.