17 September 2020 / Club News

Thank you Simon and team!

We wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Hall and team for the amazing service they have given the club and the girls teams at Old Pens over the last 4 years. They have decided to step down as a group due to family, life and work commitments but not before giving the club and the players an amazing experience and we are incredibly sad to lose them. 

In 2016 Simon took over the girls rugby at a time when numbers were averaging around 15 players. Thanks to his hard work he built a squad of about 30+ girls ranging from U9’s, U11’s and U13’s.

Simon Hall, Simon Palmer and Adam Morse were the coaching team and never missed a Sunday, giving the squad the stability and foundation to grow and grow. Kingsley Jones would also help out quite regularly with the coaching and Sara Hall, Ceri Evans and Laura Morse were the engine of the team looking after all admin, Christmas parties and tours behind the scenes.

Simon then lead the way when the WRU Clusters were introduced and set up the ‘Old Pens Mariners’ which was a great incentive to get the girls playing competitively in the Spring / Summer leagues against other girls clusters (Hubs) from all around South Wales. This meant travelling to various venues every Sunday morning to play, the girls, coaches and parents loved it. They had teams playing tag in U9’s, U11’s and U13’s and last year the U11’s and U13’s finally played their first ever competitive full contact games. They also organised two festivals where all the other clusters came to play at the Old Pens raising over £1000 for the girls section.

In Feb 2018 they organised a tour to The Old Rutlishians rugby club in Wimbledon where they took a coach full of parents and girls to play against 3 age groups. It was a fantastic trip which ended up with coaches, players and parents singing Welsh songs in their club house. A great experience for the girls and memories that will last forever. They would organise Christmas parties ranging from bowling and Ice skating to reward the girls for their commitment to the club and presentation day was always a highlight where a match between parents and girls always took centre stage. Simon also organised a contact match for the U11’s girls against the U10 Penarth boys to introduce them to tackling in a fun and non competitive way.

Players have come and gone but they have had solid regulars for a very long time. The past four years would not have been half as successful without the three main coaches and fantastic admin team, plus of course the incredibly supportive parents. They have asked me to pass on that they will all miss it very much, great great memories and more importantly, they are delighted the girls had a fantastic time. 

Even though Simon is currently incredibly busy, he has still offered to help out if he is needed and shows the type of person that he is. On a personal note, I have been to WRU meetings with Simon all over Wales late at night when he could have been home with his family, just to make sure the girls got the very best experience. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes, a class act. 

Everyone at Old Pens is incredibly grateful to you all for kickstarting girls rugby and without you we wouldn't have a girls offering and for that, we will always be grateful. Good luck to you all on your future ventures, we will see you at the club soon and if you do pass any of these fantastic people, make sure to get them a drink at the bar, as we will! 

Girls rugby will carry on with a new launch day this Thursday 24th September at 6.30pm at Old Pens. Touch rugby as per guidelines and we welcome back all players and any new players that want to join us! There will be a touch rugby offering forever the club as well as contact. The full details will be released on social media soon! 

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