Letter: Praise for rugby championships at Hartpury

Five years ago, my niece decided to give rugby a go at Painswick RFC. She was at that stage as a young teenage girl where she wasn’t very certain if she liked sport or not. To spark her interest my son and I took her to see a Gloucester Hartpury women’s match at the Alpas Arena. We were instantly hooked on watching the women’s game. We have since been to watch the Red Roses and we are regulars at Gloucester Hartpury matches. We were there at Queens Holm last year when they won the final and again last weekend in Exeter. It has been fantastic to watch and experience the growth in women’s rugby and the huge part the Gloucester Hartpury ladies have been in it.

The atmosphere on Saturday was amazing with Bristol fans and the sea of red and white around Sandy Park enjoying a glorious sunny day of entertaining rugby. Well done Glos fans for turning out in your thousands to support the ladies.

Before the match I watched the Red Rose’s legends Emily Scarratt, Katy Daley-McLean and Sarah Hunter signing autographs and taking photos with young fans, massively inspiring the next generation and the future of women’s rugby (well done BBC for getting the commentary team spot on!).

Superstars Exeter Chief’s Claudia McDonald and Canadian fly-half Alex Tessier were amongst the crowd and talking to fans. My family was sat next to a mum and daughter both decked out in their Gloucester kit (shirt signed by the whole team) and watched as the young girl met Red Roses winger Ellie Kildunne who was taking photos pitch side. At the end of the match the same young lady can be seen on the BBC broadcast with her mum, tears streaming as they watch the ladies lift the trophy. Talk about inspiring the next generation.

So a huge thank you to Mo & Zoe (the ring masters), Tatyana(OMG that tackle!), Emma (you should be kicking conversions for England), Mia, Maud, Bethan, Neve (tackling machine and my son’s crush), Mia, Sarah (unstoppable), Sam (please tell us your knee is okay), Mackenzie, Gwen, Sisilia, Georgia, Lleuca (my favourite 50/22), Pip, Rachel, Steph, Ellie, Hannah, Kelsey & Alex (speedy recovery) and the rest of the amazing Circus for giving us the most incredible season. Sean Lynn and team please keep up the good work and bring the Circus back to town next year. Season tickets are already in the bag!

Scott Tompkins


Lancs Gazette Series | Gloucestershire