INTEREST in rugby is continuing to grow in the northern suburbs, with a local club fielding its first competitive women’s side in more than a decade.
The Elizabeth Rugby Union Club (ERUC) is experiencing unprecedented growth in its membership base, and is hoping to see it continue.
ERUC development officer Sankha De Livera said the increased interest in rugby in Adelaide’s north is down to the all-inclusive nature of both the club and the sport, in general.
“Rugby is different from other sports because it’s one of the only sports which has a position for people of all different shapes and sizes,” he said.
“You can accommodate football players who are generally taller, your rugby league players who are quite stocky and cricketers who are very streamline and mostly the same.”
In the past two years, the club has grown from fielding just one senior men’s team to, now, boasting two senior teams, four junior teams and its first women’s team in over a decade.
Mr De Livera believes the club’s “family-friendly” atmosphere has facilitated the growth and said female players have moved from other sports to give rugby union a try.
“We’ve got players from netball who just wanted to give another sport a go, others have played touch footy and wanted to try a contact sport,” he said.
“Some of the girls are still adapting to the new laws and are still learning the game, but they’ve learnt a lot in a really short space of time.”
Blakeview resident Chantell Bandtock switched from football to rugby union at the start of this year, despite having never watch a game in her life.
“I didn’t even know the difference between league and union, I just came out and gave it a go,” she said.
“It’s interesting, and difficult, to start a new sport, but it’s been challenging and really nice to be involved in something that’s just forming and coming together.”
Ms Bandtock said while of some her skills have been transferrable, training has made a world of difference to her game.
“There are some things that are difficult to pick up, but you come out to training and you learn new skills,” she said.
“You don’t need to be fit, or a particular type of person – anyone can come out and join.”
For more information on the ERUC, or to register your interest in playing, contact Sankha De Livera (0405 166 333).