Posted on November 12 2020
The Czech Strong Girls has been announced as the first nominee for the 2020 Rhino Grassroots Rugby Awards.
Rhino’s Grassroots Rugby Award is back for its sixth year, and the first organisation to be revealed as a contender for taking the crown – won by Khelo Rugby of India in 2019 – is The Czech Strong Girls project, based in Velké Popovice, 20km outside of Prague.
Launched at his home-town club in 2019 with the aim of introducing girls to rugby, organiser Josef Bláha, has gone from 11 members to more than 70 in less than 18 months. The scheme, aimed at girls aged from three years of age upwards, has worked so well, he’s now aiming to roll the project out across the country, starting with a second girls-only club in a neighbouring town
Announcing the nomination, Rhino CEO Reg Clark, said: “Josef’s project has really caught the imagination in the Czech Republic, and it’s clearly that the start of something very special.
“Although still in its comparative infancy what Czech Strong Girls has already achieved is nothing short of remarkable and it is a very worth contender for the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award.”
Josef commented: “After just one year to have been nominated for this is amazing, it was just an idea but it seems to be working and we’re now looking to expand this – to go to new towns and find more competition for the girls to play against in this part of Europe.
“My aim is to have more than 20 girls in every age group because Czech girls need activities – they’re encouraged to take up dancing and athletics, but very little else, and I want to ensure they have access to rugby too.”
The Czech Strong Girls are part of a four-strong shortlist with the next finalist set to be announced on 20thNovember, 2020.
2015 TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016 KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017 SKRUM (Eswatini/Swaziland)
2018 SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)
2019 KHELO RUGBY (India)