Dolphin Rugby Club's drive to get more teenage girls involved in the sport

Recruit 23 campaign is calling on players to join the city outfit with a new programme for girls born between 2006 and 2008 at Musgrave Park on Wednesdays
Dolphin Rugby Club's drive to get more teenage girls involved in the sport

The women's section of Dolphin Rugby Club was established in 2021.

RUGBY is a hot topic this spring, as Andy Farrell's Irish team battle for the Six Nations crown.

The women's side of the game is on the rise too with Munster lifting the Interprovincial title with a clean sweep of wins over Leinster, Connacht and Ulster in January. The women's Six Nations also commences shortly with Musgrave Park hosting attractive ties against France on April 1 and England on April 22.

The sport still has some distance left to travel to compete with the likes of soccer, camogie, ladies football and basketball in terms of participation for girls, but new clubs are being established all the time. 

Set up in 2021, the women’s section in Dolphin RFC on the outskirts of Cork city has had a plethora of success stories already.

Not only have they come out of the depts of the pandemic and been able to field squads from U12 right up to senior, but they have also seen a number of their underage players make Munster, Ireland and English Premiership squads.

With this in mind Dolphin vice president Ger Hodkinson, U18 team management and club PRO Aoife O'Callaghan have come together to create a recruitment drive to encourage girls under the age of 18 to give rugby a try. 

The Recruit 23 campaign will introduce rugby to girls as complete beginners, opening up the sport to everyone. 

It will be non-contact based and will instead focus on teaching the laws and mechanics of rugby in a fun and welcoming environment.

In the Adolescent Girls Get Active research report released by Sport Ireland in 2021, it was found that only 5% of girls aged between 16-20 years were meeting their recommended physical activity levels. 

With this initiative, O'Callaghan and co are making rugby accessible for the young women of Cork. 

"We believe that rugby is a sport for all and that there is a position on the pitch for everyone, no matter what height or size you are," explained O'Callaghan.

With a variety of positions in rugby, there are huge opportunities for girls and teens. 


U18.5 prop Sofia Carty is a prime example of how rugby is a sport for all, even the complete novice. 

She only took up rugby during Transition Year 12 months ago and despite being new to the game, within a matter of weeks, she fell in love with it. 

Fast forward a year and she has found herself in the Munster Squad for this year's Spring Interprovincial Series. This was a massive feat for someone so young especially as these test games are also being viewed as trials for the U18 Irish Squad.

Dolphin's eight-week beginners training is being offered to girls born between 2006 and 2008 running on Wednesday evenings at Musgrave Park. 

There is a registration fee of €10.

For more information contact and play a part in growing women's rugby in Ireland.

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