Women's
Rugby
Women's Rugby

Olde Barking Bitches

The chance to play in the first ever all-women’s rugby grade and tick off a bucket list destination were too good to miss for a 21-strong USA women’s rugby team heading for Christchurch next April.

Supporting husbands at Golden Oldies Rugby Festivals since 2005, and playing in mixed teams since 2014, means Jill and Sarah are familiar with the fun, friendship and fraternity ethos of Golden Oldies sports.

Morphing from the Olde Barking Dogs, the women’s version, Olde Barking Bitches (Being In Total Control, Honestly) are managed by two long-term Golden Oldies supporters, Jill Berg and Sarah Kaler, who played in the mixed team at Mar del Plata in 2014 and Cardiff in 2015.

Sarah says a chance opportunity to play in an all-women’s match in Cardiff was her fondest memory from that festival. “I was able to let my guard down a bit and not be so worried about getting squished and the support we received was outstanding,” says Sarah. “When we saw there was a women’s only grade in Christchurch we leapt at the opportunity. Women’s rugby is a growing sport everywhere and we encourage more women’s teams to participate.”

Jill says the team is coming together from all over the USA for Christchurch and has an age range from 30 to 62 and abilities from former USA Eagle to novices. Her daughter Libby exemplifies the experienced end of the rugby spectrum with a rugby career that includes playing for the Eagles Under-23 team and eventually the USA Senior Women Eagles. Libby spent time in Christchurch doing a chiropractic internship where she played for High School Old Boys and since her return to the USA has taken on the role of youth director and coach for the Minnesota Mayhem, a men’s team, while continuing to play with the Minnesota Valkyries and Minneapolis 7s.

The task of recruiting for team members has seen Jill and Sarah pass out business cards at events like the Maori All Blacks match in Chicago last November, develop a great newsletter and use word of mouth to gather interested players at functions like the Old Boys Clash (River City Rugby). “We had a great response and quickly filled to a full team,” says Jill. “We are so excited to be coming to Christchurch to reunite with former teammates and friends from all over the world because that is the beauty of Golden Oldies Rugby.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *