Last Saturday Batley Bulldogs Girls played their first game at their all new pitch, kindly made available to them by Upper Batley High School.
The under 16 team got off to a winning start, thumping East Leeds 28-0.
Three weeks ago, with the season fast approaching, the girls were still looking for a home field for their under 16s, 14s and 12s.
Coach Craig Taylor enlisted the help of Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox, who helped negotiate an arrangement for the girls to play at the high school on Batley Field Hill.
Last year the girls toured Australia after an amazing fundraising effort which saw them raise £60,000 for the trip. Participation and interest in the team has grown steadily and now engages over 60 girls, including a women’s team to play in the winter league.
Coach, Craig Taylor said: “We really appreciate the help and support that Jo has given us and since putting us in touch with the school they have been fantastic too. Allowing us to use their field has been a god send really and it’s a great location for rugby.”
Sam Vickers, headteacher at Upper Batley High, said: “We were only too happy to help the girls by letting them use our field. The rugby pitch is not quite as well used as it could be but with the support of Craig and the Bulldogs we are hoping to get some of the boys more into the sport too.”
Mrs Cox said: “The girls are a fantastic success story for Batley and the popularity of the teams has outstripped the facilities available to them. Getting a field to play on was only the first step and in time I am optimistic that both Kirklees Council and Sport England will find ways to help support the girls.”
“The school have been great and not for the first time they have shown their commitment to the wider community by helping to make this happen.”