Just 12 months ago our Foundation Development Officer for Hounslow, James Collins-Clark, started delivering sessions to students at Kingsley Academy through our Project Rugby programme, ran in partnership with Premiership Rugby. After just a month of work int the school, a Rugby HUB was launched at Grasshoppers RFC with many students from Kingsley attending, including Rebekah.
Rebekah was a young 14-year-old girl that was very enthusiastic, but had not given rugby a thought and had the preconception like most of her peers that it wasn’t for her. She was one of the first members of last year’s cohort, and attended every single one of our HUB sessions at Grasshoppers. It did not matter t whether the weather was dreadful or not, she found a new love for a sport that she is now excelling in.
Rebekah has since continued her membership of her local club into the 19/20 season and with the hard work and determination she has put into every session, week in and week out, she is a regular member of the playing squad who has gone on to win the Middlesex Cup and in only 10 months of playing has been selected for the Middlesex County squad
Leroy Bouine, Rebekah’s coach at Grasshoppers and Middlesex, said: “It is not easy to bring girls into sport, especially rugby and the work of The Harlequins Foundation across local schools generates a real interest in the sport and the values of rugby and the partnership strengthens when you bring the players to Grasshoppers and they see first-hand what club rugby is about .
“Rebekah is an integral member of the U15 Grasshopper team, she has worked hard to improve her fitness and skill set, she gets to training early and works hard throughout, she is a good communicator and often can be seen giving positive feedback to her team mates.”
Mandy Elsdon, Rebekah’s mum, said: “Rebekah is a very fun outgoing girl with real drive to challenge herself and excel in everything she does, even if this means it out of her comfort zone. When Project Rugby came into her school I remember her saying to me ‘I don’t know if I like it’, she had tried her hand at many sports but never stuck to any of them.
“Until Project Rugby came along, Rebekah found herself enjoying rugby and the challenges she face learning this new sport, she has done this with encouragement from myself, The Harlequins Foundation and the PE teachers at Kingsley Academy.
“Rebekah has found real love and respect for the sport of Rugby and is proud of her achievements. Project Rugby has really given my daughter the best opportunity to become the best she can be.
“Rebekah is a big success story for Harlequins and maybe the next big female rugby star!”