Burford inspires youngsters
England Ladies World Cup winner Rachael Burford was a guest at Ashford Rugby Club on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old centre, who lives in Medway and plays for Thurrock, is one 20 players awarded a professional contract earlier this week, following the 21-9 win over Canada in Paris earlier this month.
Burford showed off her medal, on what was her second visit this season, having been there to coach some of Ashford’s youngsters before the tournament in France began.
Ashford boast three girls’ teams at under-18, under-15 and under-13 level, involving around 60 players.
Head coach Liz Ashby said: “It has been hard to find new recruits and I hope England winning the World Cup will encourage more girls to take up the sport.
“Everyone was excited to see Rachael back at the club to talk about her experiences.
“The girls had the opportunity to chat to her, knowing not long ago she was just like them.
“We need new players. All abilities are welcome as is a desire to learn what is a fun sport.”
Anyone interested should contact Liz on 07894 536552 or via email email@example.com
Training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6-7.15pm. Hayden Dyke had a multievents debut to remember when he won the Kent under-13 pentathlon title at Tonbridge School on Sunday. The 12-year-old Ashford AC member, a pupil at the John Wallis Academy in Kingsnorth and coached by Jacqi Snare, is already displaying tremendous ability, despite only being in training for a year. Competitors and spectators braved heavy rain throughout the day, which impacted on the event, with Dyke leading by three points ahead of Thanet’s Luke Creasey ahead of the final discipline, the 800m, one of his strongest events. Dyke won, finishing 30 seconds ahead of Creasey to take the title, with a combined total of 1984 points. Dyke’s full scores: 75m hurdles 12.83 seconds – 521 points (personal best), shot put: 9.03m – 428 pts, long jump: 4.60m – 308 pts, high jump: 1.46m – 360 pts, 800m: 2 26.35 seconds – 367 points (pb). Ashford AC’s Jacqueline Benson won gold in the South of England Under-15 Championships 3,000m at Crystal Palace. Benson celebrated victory in a personal best 20min 54.04sec. Ben Isaac just missed out on a medal, finishing fifth in the under-17 100m hurdles and Tyler Adams was sixth in the shot. Amelia Isaac reached the final of the under-15 75m hurdles. Kevin Williams took the veterans’ 50 silver medal in the Kent 10k road championships at Deal, securing an impressive double after winning gold in the Kent 10-Mile Championship at Sidcup.
Ashford AC raised nearly £1,700 for local charity Find A Voice, following the first 5k race held earlier this month.
Rachael Burford (centre) visits Ashford Rugby Club
Players taking part in Wye TC’s championships