2016 has proven to be a breath of fresh air for Women’s Rugby. Not just on the Sunshine Coast but also on the world stage with the dynamic Australian Women’s sevens team winning Olympic gold with an emphatic 24-17 win over arch rivals New Zealand.
USC Rugby has been at the forefront of rejuvenating Women’s Rugby on the Sunshine Coast by providing teams in the U14, U16 and U18 age groups. Sarah Ridgewell, Phil Knight and Jason Kahika organised, managed and coached the three teams over 12 weeks. The 2016 Season was mostly about development and gaining valuable experience. The U16 team showed how far the girls improved having lost all games for the first 5 weeks. Then the last round they just beat Noosa, then the following week in the semi-final beat Noosa again to make the grand final. Very rewarding for all the hard work the girls, coach Jason Kahika and Manager Sarah Ridgewell put into all three teams.
2017 is shaping up be another exciting year with the Sunshine Coast Competition pencilled in to be bigger and better. Meanwhile on the national scene the ARU have announced a Women’s National Sevens Competition. Being a university based competition this will be fantastic for USC next year and coming years.
Starting next year, the competition would include players from universities around Australia as well as potential marquee recruits from the national Sevens team and state development squads.
The ARU is hoping the competition will help accelerate the growth of women’s sevens, which has had a breakout year with the success of the Australian women’s side, with participation in the sport growing by a third in the past year.