MFC Women Head To First Game
April 17th 2023
Maidstone's new Women's XV head for their first game in a friendly against Sheppey this Saturday. An early kick-off ahead of the men's game is hoped to attract a good crowd & hopefully be the building blocks of a successful Women's section at the County Town Club.
It's remarkable to think that the journey began back in December with announcement of the Women's formation again in January, and the hope to build on the five or six interested in kicking the initiative off.
The first training session kicked off in January with 11 ladies turning up to the first session, who had never touched a rugby ball before. Each week they put their all in to training and each week new ladies would appear, also brand new to the game. It's remarkable that social media, word of mouth and a good environment attracted more and more to training, with some already having game experience. Thirteen weeks later and way ahead of schedule, the women involved are keen to try the game for real, in an arranged friendly against Sheppey.
Head Coach Minty Meade said "My main goal was to just get a 15 Maidstone Ladies on the field, but we travel with a full squad of 22 for our first game. I can’t wait to see how much their dedication and hard work has paid off. I’ve really never seen a more committed group of Women"!
The club is looking for sponsorship and grants to help fund the Women's section, with some interested parties also helping towards equipment and wet tops, such as Kent Active. It's a great way to support grass roots and the growing women's game. Maidstone Women are looking for sponsors for their playing kit for next season, so if you are interested in supporting, please contact our Sponsorship team.
For their first friendly games, including the Vigo 10's, the women will turn out in blue. This ties in nicely with Maidstone's history as the men's 1st XV started in the original blue, before switching to the traditional red, black & white. Something our new Women's XV will do in the 2023/2024 season.
For the summer, we will continue to drive recruitment on all fronts as well as open up the Women's higher end youth section to include 15 and up. This we hope will add more young aspiring players to the game, bridging the game eventually to our younger age groups, building a full girls/womens rugby section here at Maidstone. This is ambitious, but with the strides taken, the club is assessing the next small steps to keep the momentum going.
In the new season, the club will be looking to place the Women's team in a friendly league set-up to nurture the growth of the players, whilst keeping the fun & social aspect alive. For the goals of next season, Minty said "As we look ahead to our first full season, we look forward to filling as many fixtures as possible, and welcoming many new ladies into the team! Myself, the other coaches and the ladies are all really excited to see where this team is going".
The first game against Sheppey we hope will be the first of many, as look to build the women's game at Maidstone. It will take time of course, but to have the first game just thirteen weeks into the set-up is some achievement indeed. Please come along to Sheppey on Saturday and support the ladies in their first game, as they would love your support. It kicks off at 11am, so there is still plenty of time for shopping & chores afterwards!