North east Fife has a proud tradition, history and links to rugby but, up until now, those have been associated mainly to the mens’ game.
However, in recent years, the Howe Harlequins have developed from a fledgling training group into one of the fastest improving womens’ sides in the country.
Since the adult ladies Howe Harlequins club started three years ago, demand has grown from girls aged 12 to 18 years old interested in rugby as a sport and eager to train at the club.
A pre-season come-and-try night was held to gauge levels of interest and to give potential under 18 recruits the opportunity to meet the adult team.
The response was fantastic and Howe Harlequins recognised the potential to establish a clear pathway from the mini rugby section, where girls can play alongside boys, right up to full adult women’s rugby.
Ky Kay joined the Howe Harlequins coaching staff, tasked with setting up the new junior section with support from Andrew Norrie and the senior team’s coaching team.
The Howe Harlequins under 18s programme now attracts girls from all over Fife, with the team developing well and competing in tournaments, necessitating additional support to kit the players with new strips.
To that end, the side has been boosted recently thanks to support from Fife-based vegetable grower Kettle Produce.
The company has extended its support for Howe of Fife rugby development by sponsoring the kit for the newly established Howe Harlequins under 18s girls team.
Craig Manson, Howe Harlequins lead coach said it was a welcome boost.
“Howe of Fife depend on building great relationships with the local community and businesses to establish and grow grassroots rugby initiatives for women and girls.
“We are proud to have Kettle Produce supporting our efforts and our longstanding partnership has brought many benefits to our teams.
“Kettle supported the adult team last year when we reached the Scottish Rugby Bowl Final at Murrayfield and were keen to get involved in supporting our new under 18s girls team.
“We share a passion or promoting healthy living and providing young women of Fife the opportunity to take up the sport we love.
“Everyone at Howe of Fife, and especially the Howe Harlequins, would like to thanks Kettle Produce for the fantastic new shirts and for their continued support for the Howe Harlequins.”
Elizabeth Waugh, Financial Director at Kettle Produce, added:
“Kettle Produce is very supportive of our local community and keen to promote a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
“We’ve supported and sponsored the Howe of Fife men’s team over the years in various ways and we were very proud to widen this support to the womens’ team, the Howe Harlequins, as they progressed to the BT Cup final at Murrayfield last year.
“The work Howe of Fife is doing to encourage young women into sport is fantastic and we’re very happy to be able to offer our support to the under 18s girls team – I hope the team enjoy their new kits and wish them all the best for a successful season.”
For further information on the club visit the Howe Harlequins Facebook page.