Swinton Lions have a new women’s side, who will finally be able to begin socially-distanced training in January after a nine-month delay caused by the pandemic.
The team were set to begin training in March just a week after the national lockdown was announced. Now, following Rugby Leagues guidelines, they don’t expect to begin tournaments or fixtures until after Easter 2021, over a year later.
Damian Ridpath, director of Development at Swinton Lions, and now Lionesses RLFC, said: “The positives are that we should have a three-month run at training before any sort of formal competition.
“During Covid we have focussed on the management side of things, so that it is not just a bunch of women and girls who turn up to play, there is support in place to make sure they can perform to the highest level.”
In a previous interview, Damian Ridpath said: “In Martina we have recruited an outstanding coach, and our Lionesses will be sure to progress from strength to strength.”
Ridpath continued: “We are starting with the older teams of 16 to 18 years and an open ages team on the premise that it is important when any young person gets involved in sport, they have a role model to look up to.
“We have had a significant amount of interest in joining the club, and that will grow as the pandemic eases and once we have established older teams, we will begin to backfill in terms of the younger age groups.”
📰 | SWINTON ANNOUNCE LIONESSES RUGBY LEAGUE
On International Women’s Day, Swinton Lions are delighted to reveal news of plans to launch a female section under the title, ‘Lionesses RL’.
— Swinton Lions RLFC (@Swinton_Lions) March 8, 2020
The first engagement day will take place on 17 January 2021, shortly followed by the formal weekly training starting on Wednesday 21 January at 7pm at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.
Damian Ridpath said: “We are still open for women and girls to join, you don’t need to have had any experience whatsoever.”