Wakefield Wildcats took the bold step of running the first-ever Open Access Development Day for girls last week.
The day followed the format of the club’s highly successful Embed The Pathway programme and saw over 40 girls from West Yorkshire enjoy the experience of professional club coaching for the first time.
Held on the Belle Vue Stadium pitch, the girls were put through their paces over the next three hours by England Player Development Coach, Darren Fisher, along with James Stephenson, Martyn Reilly & Jonathan Schofield.
James Stephenson, Head of Community & EtP Lead, said: “We’ve been delivering Embed The Pathway from under 12s to under 16s for the past 12 months and thought we’d experiment with a female offer.
“We were overwhelmed by the support we received and will be planning more for later this year and beyond.
“There is a healthy rivalry amongst some of the girls from the different teams they played at, but we recruited new players too and that will only serve to grow the game.”
RFL National Talent Development Officer, Anthony Atherton, added: “The Wakefield programme for ETP has gone from strength to strength since James took it on.
“We have seen a great offer provided for boys and now a female offer too.
“This could be the start of a recruitment strategy that helps us achieve growth in the game in both genders, we’ll be working closely with James to map new participants and look to get them playing more often.”
The dates for future Open Access Development Days are as follows:
Under 12/13s boys – Tuesday 16th August
Under 14s boys – Wednesday 17th August
Under 15/16s boys – Mondays 15th & 22nd August
Women and girls – Friday 19th August