After months of fitness and skill preparation, the first Freeport girls’ rugby team finally got a chance to show off their skills in the Nassau Women’s Sevens Tournament on Saturday, March 17.
Despite a significant gap in age and experience, Freeport surpassed expectations and impressed both coaches and spectators with their heart, hustle and skills.
For most of the girls, it was the first time they ever played in a competitive rugby match. Yet, the team unity and chemistry allowed them to score a great victory in the first match of the day against Nassau’s B side.
Nina Sanchez scored the first try for Freeport, dotting it down after a rumbling run inside the 22.
With the game tied and less than a minute remaining, the team’s youngest player showed that age is truly just a number. Lined up on the wing, Janika Edey blazed around the corner and put on the burners to outrun one of the best sevens players in the Bahamas for a scintillating 70-yard try that put Freeport ahead for good. Edey’s speed was on full display all afternoon until she suffered an unfortunate collarbone injury.
Even after losing their speedster, Freeport’s resiliency and fitness paid off with competitive showings against a college touring side and Nassau’s A team. Tara Kirkby and Olivia Cafferata showed off their pace with long tries of their own.
Though the girls didn’t go home with any hardware, they enjoyed a valuable day of team bonding and on-field experience that will surely benefit the long-term development of the program.
Freeport coaches Sarah Nicholls and Stephen Sheehan were extremely impressed with the girls’ attitudes and look forward to continuing to work with such a dedicated group of young athletes.
The girls will continue training Monday evenings at the Freeport Rugby Club from 5:00-6:30 p.m. as well as Saturdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. Anyone interested in learning the game and becoming part of the rapidly developing girls program is encouraged to join.