Stroud High student, Florence Cross Y8, has made rugby history at Painswick RFC.
Last year Flo played mixed rugby (the only girl in her age group!) at Painswick and thoroughly enjoyed it. Upon reaching the under 13 level she was no longer able to play in a mixed team according to RFU rules. Painswick Rugby Club, at that time had no facility for girls to continue to play rugby after this age. So Flo took it upon herself to see what could be done about this. She sent emails to, and had discussions with, the chief coach of the club. She told him she wanted to see if she could set up a girls team, for which he was very supportive. She set about making posters and canvasing schools, shops and sports facilities in order to create some interest in the new team and hopefully recruit some members.
After some months and much hard work Painswick Rugby Club, the oldest village rugby club in the country, have their first girls team, which at present have 16 members and rising.
Painswick Rugby Club's recent awards day was attended by hundreds of players, parents and coaches. At the end of the proceedings Florence was awarded this year’s ‘Player of the club’ for her outstanding and historic contribution by creating the first girls rugby team in the club. She is the first female to have her name engraved on the plaque in a club which has been going for nearly 150 years.
Flo's mum, Mel, commented "I thought you would like to know in order to inspire others at the school to know that if there are no footsteps to follow, just follow your dreams and create your own!"
Well done Florence - We are all very proud of you.