Ballarat rugby women making their mark

IT’S early days yet, but women’s rugby looks set to become a part of Ballarat’s ever-growing sporting hub.

Six weeks ago Ballarat resident Eve Beale pitched the idea of forming Ballarat’s first women’s rugby team to St Patrick’s Old Collegians president Luke Miller and a plan has now been put in motion to enter a side into next year’s Victorian Women’s Rugby League competition.

Since then the numbers that train under Miller every Tuesday have swelled from two to 12 and the women that participate have even given themselves a title – the Ballarat Blackbirds.

Beale says the idea has received a “surreal” amount of support, but she is calling for more women to try their hand at the sport.

“We’re looking for all shapes and sizes to come out, have some fun and get fit,” Beale said.

“We have a diverse range of girls out here, a lot of people think that you need to be big and butch to play – but that’s not the case.

“We have beauticians playing as well as girls from Ireland and Canada.”

Whilst the club has missed out on the chance to contest this year’s series, it will still train every Tuesday and Beale hopes that a team can be entered in the super sevens competition before the club focuses on building its female player base to about 20.

“At this stage we’re just focusing on training and we’ll probably do some bonding by watching some professional games this year,” she said.