Founded in 2018, Ruggette RFC was created with the intention to provide female rugby athletes with apparel made specifically for them, but also to help prove that women's rugby, and female sport in general, is not a hobby or a secondary interest, but a viable industry in and of itself, and deserving of support and investment.
It shouldn't be hard to find apparel and equipment for the modern female rugby athlete; after all, rugby is among the fastest growing sports for girls and women worldwide. It resonates in a deep and meaningful way with millions of female athletes, from all backgrounds and walks of life. So where's our kit at? Be it on the pitch, in the gym, or in everyday life, Ruggettes should have options that are made specifically for them, as female athletes. We couldn't find what we wanted on the market- and trust us, we searched. It wasn't out there...so we made it ourselves.
Straight up? We're sick of buying women's athletic apparel -and women's apparel in general- that values appearance over performance. Why can't it be both? Sure, we want to look good, but we also train, hit, and play hard. That's why our apparel is tried and tested by lady ruggers of all shapes and sizes.
We're starting small- real small- but we've got us some big dreams. We're not a fancy corporation, just a little gang of ruggers with some ideas, lead by a lady prop who got sick of not being able to find the stuff she wants, or needs, to buy. Making stuff is expeeensive, though, so we gotta grow the old fashioned way- slowly, bit by bit, with some good old fashioned work. But we know where we are going with this, and we can't wait to share it with you. We're playing the long game here- a full 80, if you will- it would be awesome if you were on our team for it.
It’s most likely the first time a woman played rugby- at least, it’s the first time we have a formal record of it. In the early days of female sport, women playing contact sports was seen socially as disrespectful, and sometimes incited a violent response from the public, as it did in 1881, when a number of women’s football matches in Scotland and England were abandoned due to riots. Some of those games did get played, however, and while most of them were played under football rules, there was one match that may have played an early version of rugby, though it’s unconfirmed. Truthfully, there could have been several exhibition matches of early women’s rugby played in the 19th century that no record exists of, either through lack of press reporting, or due to some level of intentional secrecy in order to avoid riots at the games, as there were in ‘81. However, at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Emily Valentine’s older brothers founded their schools rugby team in 1884. Three years later, when the team found themselves one man short in a game, 10-year-old Emily took off her hat and coat, subbed in at wing, scored a try, and made history. Thank you, Emily. We hope we’ve done you proud.