Guildford’s goal to develop girls rugby at the club continues its march forward after its launch in January, 2018.
Since that time, Susan Payne, former player and Chairman of Girls Rugby Development, has been working with various players and coaches at GRFC, in particular Matt Trott, to lay the foundations for a successful season ahead. This included her providing last season, alongside Emma Swadlo (Gazelle) or a Surrey Rugby section head, rugby taster sessions to girls at local schools, which will continue this September; building relationships with the various other clubs and coaches starting girls sections and arranging participation in the Pitch Up and Play sessions specifically established regionally to promote girls play.
After a dedicated search for best talent, Susan was recently delighted to announce the appointment of elite player Chloe Butler, an Australian international, as Head Coach for the Grizzlies for the coming season. Chloe has played for Australia in two World Cups, most recently in Ireland 2017, as well as many other major tournaments, like the Womens Tyrell’s Premiership. She played for Richmond RFC last season and will debut for Harlequins Ladies in the upcoming 2018/2019 season. A seasoned athlete, Chloe also previously represented Australia in the 200 m hurdles.
Chloe, who came to England to continue her playing career and to further her coaching career, is working on her Level 3 Coaching Certificate. She is also working at Lions Sports Academy, which strives to help children and young adults realise their potential through their participation in rugby and sport.
Chloe is planning to implement her top-level playing experience and background into her coaching at Guildford RFC. She is excited to help the girls develop their rugby skills to be the best players they can. “I will never tell a player or team how to play the game, but what I will do is give them the skills to read what is in front of them and apply the best skill and options possible,” Chloe said leading into the role.
Chloe plans to implement game-based conditioning in the early block of the season along with refreshing fundamental skills. As a southern hemisphere player, she will not shy away from contact, introducing it as soon as possible, but is aware children want to have fun so will introduce it in segments, safely increasing intensity levels while taking into account different skill and experience levels.
Susan continues to focus on sponsorship for this season, with the first generous sponsor being St Edmunds School, Hindhead. She is also working with Surrey Rugby to determine the considerable training opportunities with them for Guildford’s girls. “The potential for advancement is wide open for girls in this area”, Susan commented in looking at the rapid growth in rugby for girls.
Susan and Chloe, along with the other coaching staff now in place and dedicated to girls rugby development at Guildford RFC, look forward to welcoming all girls from Sunday, Sept 2nd’s first practice at 1000 am, though expect many will first appear Sunday, Sept 9th after the school term begins thgis sunday Sept 2nd.