Sarah Hunter Dame Allan's

Sarah Hunter leads an inspiring session at Dame Allan’s School

Sarah Hunter CBE, who led England to Six Nations victory in 2021 and 2022,  visited Dame Allan’s Schools in Fenham last week

Sarah Hunter came to visit Dame Allan’s School on 29 February to lead a special rugby session for young girls from Years 7, 8 and 9. 

The North Shields-born rugby union star joined the youngsters from Dame Allan’s Girls’ School in a dedicated after-school training event where she offered top tips and advice, such as the importance of verbal communication during a match, as well as lessons on strategy and making space.

In a post-training Q&A session, Sarah spoke passionately about her love for rugby and the progress that has been made with regard to women within the sport.

Speaking about the event, Sarah said:

Sarah Hunter Dame Allan's

“It was great to see the girls at Dame Allan’s in the training session. One of my favourite things about rugby is the people, you become like a family, and this all starts at a young age, playing at club matches and giving rugby a go. 

“I’d always encourage girls to try rugby as a sport. They’ll often find that they have transferable skills learned in netball or hockey. There is such potential for women within rugby now, that was not there even when I was at school. It is fantastic to witness.”

Also supporting their younger peers at the event were Dame Allan’s Sixth Form students Siân Tuck (17) and Isabel Golding (16). Both of whom are skilled rugby players. 

Siân plays at a county level for Northumberland, whilst Isabel plays at a regional level. She is currently in an excellent programme for promising young rugby players. 

Isabel commented:

“Sarah was a childhood idol of mine, so it has been amazing to meet her today. She’s someone I definitely look up to.”

Siân added: “It has been a great session, both for myself and for the younger girls in attendance who can take inspiration from Sarah. She is a great role model.”

Dame Allan’s Schools has a thriving cohort of female rugby players. In early 2023, the Schools pledged that all girls should get the opportunity to play rugby. Either for fun, or competitively. This year, Dame Allan’s U14s girls team will be making their debut at the prestigious national 7s competition, held at Rosslyn Park, in London. 

The session with Sarah was led by Mr Michael Searle, Graduate Sport Assistant at Dame Allan’s, and Mr Adam Hay, Head of Rugby at Dame Allan’s. 

Sarah Hunter Dame Allan's

Speaking about the event, Adam said:

“It was an absolute honour to have Sarah Hunter at our rugby session. Sarah is a huge character within female rugby and you couldn’t ask for a better role model for our girls. She is a clear example of how rugby can create so many opportunities for our pupils. She has come from this area, starting rugby at a similar age to these girls.

Sarah has achieved the greatest accolades possible as a rugby player. Including captaining on the international stage for a large period of her career. It was a fantastic opportunity for our girls to take advice from Sarah within the training session and Q&A.”

Sarah now works for the RFU (Rugby Football Union) as the England Women’s Defence Coach. She is heading to training camp in preparation for the 2024 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.