This morning, as I did my usual morning ritual of scanning through all the various messages and notifications I had received, one particular post jumped out at me. A memory from this day in 2016:
Wow. A year?
It feels just like yesterday that a small group of Valkyries traveled down to Plymouth to take part, in what we thought was, a women’s flag tournament. We had had about 4 sessions, the Defence hadn’t been fully installed yet and the Offensive passing tree was still in its infancy. Imagine our surprise when we come out to face two fully specialised flag teams – one all-male and the other predominantly male!
I have written elsewhere about how we handled this event and those that followed through an article about flagging up key periods of development in a newly formed team, and it is not my intention to duplicate that here. However, as I sit here after a training session in the middle of our first ever national tackle tournament I can’t help but reflect on our journey to this point that all started with that trip to Plymouth.
It could have gone horribly wrong. It could have been a complete disaster. But instead, they responded in a way that has been a signature response to everything that the club has faced since then – No fear.
They had a great day. They exceeded every expectation we set and then some. It set the tone for everything that has followed.
Since then, it has been a rollercoaster of a ride. We have…
- Played against recent national flag champions – Cardiff Hurricanes
- Played against the local University side – Cardiff Cobras
- Played against a range of male flag teams in the Marcus Price Memorial tournament
- Competed in our first national flag tournament
- Sent players to GB tackle trials
- Have players going to the GB flag trials
- Trained alongside and with the local senior tackle team – South Wales Warriors
- Began our first national tackle tournament
- Welcomed a whole new batch of players into the team
…and we have only just begun as the team is getting better with every tournament round. As they gain more and more experience their abilities are growing rapidly and we are doing more and more to keep up that momentum.
It has been such great fun to have been part of this so far and I look forward to welcoming more new players into the team in the future. It is never too late to join the squad with new players welcome anytime.
So here is to another year. Another year of growth, another year of spreading the word, another year of more and more women taking up the sport, another year of competing against teams from all over the country – but more importantly, another year of fun.