Rugby internationals Tommy Bowe and Iain Henderson have given their support to a Queens University RFC project aimed at getting young women active and fitter through rugby.

The club has introduced the Women’s Recreational Rugby and Fitness Programme in order to introduce the sport to young women who have never played before, combining ‘bootcamp’ style fitness training with more formal rugby coaching.

The programme’s aim to attract new participants to rugby comes soon after the 2015 World Cup in England captured the attention of local sports fans, with the Ireland team featuring Bowe and Henderson reaching the quarter finals stage. This followed on from the fourth place finish for the Ireland Women’s team at the 2014 World Cup in France, and the announcement that the 2018 tournament will be hosted in Ireland.

The Queens University RFC project has received National Lottery funding through Sport Northern Ireland’s Active Awards for Sport programme. Welcoming the programme, Sport NI’s Director of Participation Nick Harkness commented:

“Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to support the fantastic work being done at grassroots level by Queens University RFC to provide opportunities for people to improve their fitness and participate in rugby. The Active Awards for Sport programme is aimed at getting underrepresented groups, including females, engaging in sport and enjoying the benefits it offers to our health and wellbeing. This project is perfectly poised to capitalise on the increasing popularity and profile of rugby, and the excitement building towards the 2018 World Cup. I wish Queens University RFC and all the participants every success with the programme.”