Ulster Rugby has been running a series of Girls Regional Development Centres across the province during this year’s school summer holidays for female rugby players and beginners at both Under-15 and Under-18 level.
These Regional Development Centres are used as a platform to enable coaches to identify talented Under-18 players or Under-U18 players with potential, who may be invited to train as part of the Ulster U18 Development Squad.
On Thursday 6th August, Ballymoney R.F.C. Youth Academy played host to one of these sessions which was attended by girls currently playing for the club, with others having travelled from further afield to participate.
During a two-hour session, various core-skills, shape in attack, and defence were discussed and implemented, with an optional hour for those who wished to stay for extra tuition. The girls were introduced to plyometric exercises to help develop explosive power and core stability in addition to basic fundamental movement patterns such as squat, lunge, hinge, push, and pull.
All the girls who attended put in a good effort during the session, and Ballymoney R.F.C. Youth Academy hopes that it will act as a catalyst to inspire players to become fitter, stronger, and to develop their rugby skills in the short to long term, as well as attract new individuals to the fold.
Ballymoney R.F.C. Youth Academy would like to thank Ulster Rugby, and in particular Neal Johnston (Ulster Rugby Female Rugby Officer), for their involvement with these sessions, and to all the girls who turned up to participate.
With the rugby world cup just around the corner and the crème de la crème of rugby superstars looking to impress their adoring fans, the local town of Ballymoney could potentially have some of the rugby stars of the future.
Having gone through months of training, trails and practice matches three lads from Ballymoney RFC Youth Academy have made a big impression on the coaching staff of Ulster Rugby. Lee Culbertson, Graham Donnelly and Jack Doak have all been included to represent their province. Lee and Jack will turn out for the Ulster Development Under 17 team and Graham will be in the Under 18 team. Over the next few months these guys will take part in inter pro matches against very stern opposition whilst being further scrutinised by the coaching staff at Ulster Rugby.
This is a superb achievement by these lads and one the players and coaches here at Ballymoney RFC Youth Academy are very proud of. With the proper coaching and the right mentality anything is possible. We wish Lee,Graham and Jack all the success they deserve on what is the beginning of a promising rugby future.
If you would like to give the sport of rugby a ‘try’ we at Ballymoney RFC Youth Academy are always looking for new players. We currently have three boys teams at U14, U16 and U18 level and two girls teams at U15 and U18 level.
You can get in touch with the Academy via our Facebook page (Ballymoney RFC Youth Academy) or just call up to Ballymoney RFC on a Tuesday or a Thursday we have training sessions on both evenings from 6pm until 8pm.
Ballymoney First XV entertained Limavady on Thursday evening as part of the pre-season prearation. The Kilraughts Road men scored six tries to Limavady’s two with Jonny Hanna scoring three. This week is a further step up when they play Portadown at home at 2.30pm.