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Stuart Dyckhoff
β geek slipping through life one happy day at a time - photographer - techy - martial artist - husband - father - friend
β geek slipping through life one happy day at a time - photographer - techy - martial artist - husband - father - friend

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A Bittersweet Day

TLDR: My daughter has ended her rugby career and I'm left with a void!

Let me explain.....

A first glance this photo is just a bunch of girls (over 150 if truth be known) from many parts of the world including Canada, France, Ireland, England, France & Wales. Somewhere close to the middle of all of these girls (and girls they are as this was U18's) is my daughter.

This was Saturday last at Naas RFC in Ireland. A day that my daughter's team came 4th out of the 10 International teams and really did themselves proud. It was a day for celebrating the growing movement that is Women and Girls rugby and for celebrating the improving situation regards ladies in sport - whatever that sport is.

So my daughter's team - Pencoed Phoenix U18's Girls Rugby Team - did well. They did better than expected and acquitted themselves well and did better than the other 2 Welsh teams competing including one of their main rivals. It was a time of newer girls gelling with those moving onto seniors rugby or indeed, as with my daughter, hanging up their boots altogether.

I confess I was surprised 6yrs ago when she said all she really wanted to do was play rugby. As her father I moved heaven and earth to find a club she could join. I hassled the Welsh RFU, I badgered clubs and eventually, to my surprise found a team on our doorstep that was trying to get girls rugby off the ground. Six years on and they can pretty much say it has been successful at that. I have poured my time into supporting my daughter through this - encouraging her when she was low - buying supplies for the club - turning up to fund raising events - transporting girls all over Wales to play - becoming the de facto photographer of the team (even though the club has a professional on retainer she didn't travel to away games) - etc....

I've seen girls grow into ladies.

I've seen calamity Jane's turn into sportswomen.

I've seen timid things becoming confident and expressive young ladies prepared to stand up for themselves and their teammates.

I've seen one young lady represent her country and become part of the first ever Welsh team to win a medal at a Commonwealth games.

I've learned to take photographs of sporting events.

I've developed some good friends amongst the parents and the coaches.

I've had some great times over the years and none more so than this past weekend on the rugby tour to Ireland - all generating great memories.

But most of all, I've seen my young baby develop into a functioning member of the human race by taking part in a team event and committing her life twice a week minimum to something that us men take for granted but that she and her team mates have had to fight for every step of the way.

She has survived it with a few cuts and bruises along the way - as I did with my rugby career - and avoided any career debilitating or ending injuries that others haven't.

But today ... it is all over for her. And for me as well.

My bittersweet day has arrived and I'm left in a weird limbo of my own forging... and I know not how to process it.

#rugby #rugbyforever #Wales #IamWales #girlpower #bringit

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A1 Tornado, No. 60163

As it rattles through Bridgend with the sun setting top right, just out of shot ...

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The girls did it...

Nice effort - fab morning out, 2hrs, 5miles and 886m up and down.

p.s. you can still donate for a day or two.... :)

#rugby #future #girls #donate #sponsor #Wales

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Last time of asking...please can you donate an amount, any amount?

The URL you need is:

#rugby #future #girls #donate #sponsor #Wales

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Obligatroy Daily Share until....

... well, at least until Saturday and this time at a different time of the day .... dun, dun, duh!!!!.

The girls really would appreciate your assistance with any little amount you can spare and just know that every penny of it goes to helping the girls an dthe future of girls (and women's) rugby in the Bridgend area.

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Dewi and Dwynwen

Dewi found a mate and a batch of eggs are cooking ... caught them in a restful mood here and no smoke coming out of their noses either.

#Cadw #Caerphilly #Castle #Dragons

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Yes ... I know... but I plan to share this everyday until at least Saturday :)

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Come on folks ... surely some of you can spare a $1 or a £1 or a €1? Even one of you would be fabulantastic.

Help keep girls rugby alive.

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Can You Help?

Any little amount would be fantastic.
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