Since 2017, the royal Navy Women’s team have been rebuilding and structuring a pathway for the future, they’ve a reinvigorated focus and vision for the next three years under Head Coach CPO(MW) Jim Bowen.
They have been primarily focussing on player development and retention as the team previously struggled due to operational deployments, and career courses.
The ‘Sisters’ now have a structured integral management, and they’re seeing players returning season after season, also with a greater number of players been selected for United Kingdom Armed Forces and International pathways.
The majority of players come from the southern counties and are new to the code, as many switch codes outside of the union season.
Bowen says, “they have been striving for success, yet game time seems to be our main issue, as we’ve tried arranging fixtures with numerous emerging southern teams to no avail.”
Focussing on their grassroots events, the Head Coach has brought in a new high tempo to the team, encouraging senior players to mentor and develop new players.
The team is a family and are welcoming to new players of any standard, and as this team grows the focus is on excelling in IS20 (inter-services 20) and improving on previous performances building their experience.
In the 2019 season the Head Coach decided to try to cultivate a female only tournament in a state of origin style imitating the seniors game in a Nines format, splitting the units into eastern and western regions which will now be an annual event and encourage more females to take up the sport.
IS19 preparation took a different approach from climbing walls to communication exercises the team was tested both on and off the field.
It was the first time the Krav Maga instructor had to tell a class to go easier on each other. The team spent a weekend in Leeds and Dewsbury for a focussed training camp, the team revisited basic drills and skills whilst been able to attend a state of mind workshop.
At this point the players had bought in and was focussed on IS. Their first game against the Army was a strong start, unfortunately they were unable to score against the experienced Army team.
Head coach assures 2020 win be a different story! Their tour to Australia in 2021 will be a great experience for the team and will only give them more exposure to playing outside of their comfort zones.
Bowen adds: “I’m very confident this tour will be a catalyst for the RN (Royal Navy) to be a contender and win the IS competition in the not too distant future.
“I believe this junior team are on the up and hopefully we can enter the challenge cup and develop ourselves with further fixtures in the Northern Counties.”
It appears the RN are hot on the tail of the Army, will the RAF (Royal Air Force) want a piece of this?
The inter-services competitions are always a battle between the three, armed services and great games to watch whether it be men or women’s games.