Travelling to Walcot RFC to take part in the first ever Mixed Ability Cup last Saturday, both Yeovil’s Men and Women Mixed Ability teams brought home both Cups.
Starting their journey back in December 2019 the teams have come a long way in the 18 months since and, considering how the pandemic has disrupted training, those involved really should be feeling immense pride at what has been achieved. Both teams were eager to get involved with the Cup, held at Walcot RFC which proved an impressive and successful day for all those involved. The tournament, organised by the Bath Rugby Foundation, was the first time teams from the southwest have been able to gather together for such an event. With 8 teams on the day, separated into rounds with Men’s games and Women’s games, Yeovil are now the proud winners of the tournament and took home both cups to their home clubhouse.
The day itself provided a unique opportunity to enjoy the sport bringing together players from within the Club’s U16, Colts, Women’s and Men’s (including Veterans) teams playing alongside each other with parents and children, and partners being able to play rugby together as one team. Unlike a usual game of rugby the rules are adapted for individuals, with both contact and non-contact players on the field together, making the game as inclusive as ever with these adaptions. Being part of these teams is proving to be a highlight for all.
Yeovil Mixed Ability Men, made up of some 20 players enjoyed the spirit of the day playing contact games against Walcot Blacks, Walcot Whites and Berkshire Men. The games, with players playing non-contact marked in red bibs or scrum hats, and no contesting at the lineouts were hard fought for Yeovil men, playing each team before finding out they would be in the final. Team spirit on the day was tremendous, and cemented the true value of the adapted game.
Yeovil Mixed Ability Women played various games against Bath Ladies Trojans (BLT), Berkshire Mixed and Walcot Mixed teams. Rounds for the women were made up of only one contact game against the BLT and with the two other games being mixed touch games. This provided a huge confidence boost for the newer members of the team. The ladies final, against Walcot was an adapted contact game with all players enjoying a well matched final game.
Some of our successful teams are also going to be joining up with representatives of other Clubs under the bath Rugby Foundation banner and going on a mini tour to South Wales in mid-July. This will be an opportunity to really develop the rugby experience – playing rugby, travelling to new places, meeting new people and making new friends.
Yeovil Rugby Club’s Mixed Ability Team is thriving and as words spreads at the inclusiveness provided by the game the future looks bright for these diverse teams. Mixed Ability Rugby provides training sessions for the everyone within the local community, with a mix of players with a variety of emotional, physical and mental health conditions playing alongside facilitators from the Club’s Men’s and Women’s team. The game gives anyone from 16+ the chance to join and play alongside each other as one, adapting conditions appropriately. Training sessions are held every other Friday evening from 7pm - 8:30pm and is open to everyone no matter your rugby experience. The next session will be on Friday 9th July. To find out more about either of our teams, or to join in with training you can find out more information over on the Club’s Facebook page (Yeovil Rugby Club Mixed Ability Teams or the main Club page – Yeovil Rugby Club) or by email: yeovilrugbyclub@outlookcom.