Cheltenham Tiger Women’s set up are delighted to announce a new partnership with Gloucester/ Hartpury Women.
Hartpury students will benefit from the exciting new partnership announced by Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC and Cheltenham Tigers Women’s RFC.
The two organisations are working together to provide a pathway for girls and women, including students at Hartpury, to gain more opportunities to play rugby at a high level with both clubs when sport restarts after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, the partnership will enable students to develop and practice specialist skills and knowledge related to their areas of study across a range of Hartpury’s sports diplomas and degrees, including sports performance and training, and strength and conditioning.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC – a partnership between Hartpury University and Hartpury College and Gloucester Rugby – compete at the highest level in the women’s club game in England, the Women’s Premiership.
Many past and present members of the Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC squad are current or former Hartpury students who have gained international caps, including England World Cup winner Natasha Hunt, Kelly Smith, Zoe Aldcroft and Tatyana Heard who assists with girls coaching at Cheltenham.
Cheltenham Tigers Women’s RFC, based at Newlands Park in Cheltenham, are one of the top clubs in Championship 1 League North, one level down from the Premiership in the women’s rugby pyramid.
Sean Lynn, Head of Women’s Rugby at Hartpury and Head Coach of Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, said:
Our new partnership with Cheltenham Tigers Women’s RFC is a really exciting development for both clubs and we’re confident that it’s going to be a big success. It will provide women and girls, including our students, with opportunities to play rugby at a high level and help to support the continuing growth of women’s rugby in Gloucestershire. The new partnership will provide players with access to the very latest coaching methods and the state-of-the art training facilities at Hartpury, which will further enhance their prospects of playing in the Premiership. We will also work with Cheltenham Tigers Women’s RFC off the field in areas such as coaching and analysis, which will provide our students studying diplomas and degrees in those subject areas with a great opportunity to work closely with a high-level rugby club and gain real-world experience.
Bee Mocellin, Head of Women’s and Girls’ Rugby at Cheltenham Tigers, said:
Cheltenham Tigers Women’s RFC, established in 1989, was one of the first women’s club rugby teams in England. Initially forming as a group of women looking to have fun and stay active, the club has gone from strength to strength ever since. We are enormously proud of our history, and in particular how it has helped shape us as a family both on and off the pitch. We strive to be better people as well as rugby players and our family culture is our DNA and central to everything we achieve on and off the pitch. With the evolution of women’s rugby, it seemed only natural to partner with a Premiership team, creating a fluid pathway for players to develop across all levels. Our partnership with Gloucester-Hartpury promises much more than that, though, and what excites me most is the shared desire to strengthen rugby in the community, essentially giving more girls and women rugby opportunities
Cheltenham Club Chairman Stephen Ratcliffe added
This is another very important step for Women’s rugby development in the area, providing a clear pathway for ambitious players, but also enabling the girls and women’s game to develop. It’s very exciting times for our Women’s group and continues to build their proud history at the forefront of the game