A driving figure in the Victorian women's rugby landscape will be acknowledged with an independent schoolgirls 7s tournament named in her honour.
The inaugural Cattermole Cup kicks of this Friday, named after women's rugby trailblazer Lyndsey Cattermole AM.
"The competition is named in honour of Lyndsey, who has been a leading supporter of rugby and womens sport in Victoria for many years, including as a director of the Melbourne Rebels," explains tournament founder, Justin Bown.
"Amongst other contributions to women's sport, in 2022 Lyndsey was instrumental in securing the payment of Melbourne Rebels Super W players, making them the first professional players in the Super W Competition."
Conceived by Kiwi Hawthorn's Junior Committee member Bown, in partnership with Rugby Victoria, the Cattermole Cup is an effort to grow rugby participation amongst young women, and is run as a gala day Rugby 7s competition for girls from Independent Schools.
"The event will be run in a gala day format for girls new to rugby in Years 7 & 8, with teams from St Catherine's School, Siena College and Haileybury College (2 teams)," explains Bown.
"More than 70 girls have already enrolled to take part next year, with the plan being to expand to include more schools and higher age grades. Players have been through a Get Into Rugby program at their schools over the past 4-6 weeks in preparation for the gala day."
Launching this Friday at Kiwi Hawthorn Rugby Club, Super W players Allyssa Lolesio and Meretiana Robinson will be special guests on the day in their capacity as Rugby Victoria Development Officers.
In a further show of support, Victorian Women's Rugby 7s Head Coach Jason Rogers will also attend, along with representatives from Girls Sport Victoria, the Victorian and Australian Schools Rugby Unions and the Cattermole family.
"Over the next few years we want to see hundreds of girls take up rugby and compete with their school for the Cattermole Cup and in time help uncover new talent for Victoria's AON7s and Australia's Rugby 7s Womens team, the Pearls," outlines Bown.
His sentiments are echoed by Rugby Victoria's Game Devlopment Manager, Samantha Monaghan.
"The build up to this day has been a long time coming, we're excited to be able to finally offer something for our independent girls schools and will look to further build in 2023," said Monaghan.
"The buzz around rugby 7s is once again building in schools and we're excited to be able to offer this opportunity for young girls to learn a new contact sport, which builds on many skills and attributes of other sports they may be trying these days."