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Sur-prize, sur-prize: A review of some of the women’s rugby awards handed out for 2023/24

Gary Heatly

Between May 16 and June 1 there were four big awards evenings – the Scottish Rugby Writers Dinner, the Scottish Rugby Community and Recognition Awards, Edinburgh Rugby’s annual End of Season Awards and Glasgow Warriors’ annual End of Season Awards – took place.

As well as many men’s awards handed out at all four as 2023/24 draws to a close there were plenty of women’s prizes given out at the various events too.

The female award winners are listed below while here you can hear from the Scottish Rugby Community and Recognition Awards Women’s Try of the Season winner Jenn Treacy of Bishopton…

“It feels special for myself and the club to win this award,” Treacy said after picking it up at Murrayfield and after Bishopton finished second in West Two behind Hillhead Jordanhill’s second team.

“I am American and grew up in Colorado and my husband is Irish. I have been in Scotland 14 years and we moved to Bishopton back in 2020.

“My usual sports had been Gaelic football and Austrian rules, but at the time we were in the pandemic and could not travel far so I walked five minutes down the road to the local rugby club and the rest is history.

“I have made great friends at the club, there is such a brilliant community at Bishopton and I feel like I have found my people.

“Rugby is so much more tactical and cerebral compared to the sports I have played before and that is something that I really enjoy.

“As a game it is like trying to move chess pieces around the pitch and I think my position of full-back is a really good one to take in the game from because I can step back, watch what is going on in front of me and pick and choose gaps and try and read what’s going on.

Those who gave Treacy the nod to beat off competition for the award said:  “The Bishopton full-back demonstrated both her speed and skill in this try, gathering the ball from her team mate at the ruck before making her way around the defence along the left wing before putting in a beautiful chip through and gathering to dot down for the try.”

May 16, Scottish Rugby Writers Dinner (sponsored by Hampden & Co)

Club Women’s Player of the Season (sponsored by Oak and Black): Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County)

Performance Women’s Player of the Season (sponsored by CBDiablo): (Alex Stewart (Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland)

May 24, Scottish Rugby Community and Recognition Awards

National Young Person award: Murrin Thomson (Balfron High School/Strathendrick)

Women’s National League Player of the Season: Merryn Gunderson (Corstorphine Cougars)

Women’s Regional Leagues Player of the Season: Emma Mackinnon (Dundee Valkyries)

Women’s Try of the Season: Jenn Treacy (Bishopton)

Community Club of the Season: Dalkeith – as part of their success this season the club launched their first women’s side in 15 years and they have competed in the Aspire     League and made it to a final with over 20 currently active players

Spirit of Rugby award: Bernie Mitchell (Hillhead Jordanhill) – as part of his near-50 year dedication to the sport, he is an advocate for women’s rugby and was instrumental in establishing the club’s women’s rugby team in 1995

May 25, Edinburgh Rugby’s annual End of Season Awards

Good 2 Give Women’s Player of the Year: Alex Stewart

Women’s Player’s Player of the Year: Alex Stewart

June 1, Glasgow Warriors’ annual End of Season Awards

Women’s Coaches’ Player of the Season: Holland Bogan

Women’s Players’ Player of the Season in memory of Siobhan Cattigan: Ailie Tucker