Women's Rugby World Cup visits GGS!

On Friday 24th March Grosvenor’s ever-industrious P.E. Department welcomed a number of local Primary Schools to its sports pitches where they participated in a keenly contested rugby tournament, organised to run in conjunction with the arrival of the Women’s Rugby World Cup trophy as part of its tour of the country, prior to Ireland’s hosting of the renowned event this summer.

In total the event was attended by seven local primary schools, with ninety pupils participating from Elmgrove, Strandtown, Rosetta, Andrews Memorial, Moneyrea, Gilnahirk and Leadhill Primary Schools. With the competition taking place just months before the 2017 Women’s World Cup kicks off in Dublin on 9th August, each primary school represented a different team from the tournament, namely: Elmgrove – England, Strandtown ‘A’ – Scotland, Strandtown ‘B’ – Italy, Rosetta – Japan, Andrews Memorial – New Zealand, Moneyrea – Ireland, Gilnahirk – France and Leadhill - Canada.

During the matches the arrival of the day’s star attraction – the World Cup trophy itself, accompanied by Nicki Caughey, a female Ulster and Ireland rugby player and, significantly, a former pupil of Grosvenor, caused many heads to turn. When Nicki took the trophy out of the padded, heavy-duty black box, the stunning piece of silverware shined brightly in the midday sun. This trophy, so new and scratch-free, had to be handled using white gloves so as to maintain its pristine condition.

As the day progressed and the matches were played out, the Primary School children present enjoyed their lunch whilst anxiously awaiting the results of their hard-fought matches. After these results were announced, all the teams were then given the opportunity to have their photos taken with the World Cup trophy in their full World Cup themed kits.

After the conclusion of this competition, however, the pupils of Grosvenor themselves were afforded the opportunity to see the trophy at close-hand during two separate afternoon assemblies, one for junior school and the other for senior school pupils.  During these gatherings the pupils received short talks from Ireland international Ilsa Van Staden as well as Joy Sparkes, Ulster Rugby Regional Lead, while the trophy itself was carefully chaperoned by its official ‘minder’ Kay Smyth. Despite the understandable care that was taken to ensure that the trophy stayed in its immaculate condition, however, Grosvenor’s own female rugby players were given the opportunity to be photographed alongside the famous cup.

In addition the afternoon assemblies were used as an opportunity to promote the Women’s Rugby World Cup competition itself - which will take place across Ireland throughout August, as well as Grosvenor’s own participation the final of the Danske Bank Schools’ Cup on Monday 3rd April, when its senior girls will compete against Royal School Dungannon for the right to claim the prestigious trophy.

Many thanks to Mrs Kirk for the huge amount of time and effort that she invested into making the day such an overwhelming triumph, the many additional pupils and staff helpers who facilitated the running of the event, those representatives of Friends of Grosvenor who generously provided refreshments throughout the morning as well as Ulster Rugby itself which provided valuable personnel to help ensure the success of the day.

All at GGS now hope that our senior girls can take home the Danske Bank Schools’ Cup next Monday to cap off a period of incredible sporting success within the School. 

Grosvenor's senior female rugby players, flanked by Principal Dr. Vasey and Irish International Ilsa Van Staden, pose alongside the prestigious Women's Rugby World Cup trophy during its visit to the school on Friday 24th March.

Principal Dr. Vasey and Head Girl Annie McKirgan pose with the Rugby World Cup in the background during its excursion to GGS.

Mrs Kirk and Nicki Caughey with the World Cup trophy.