A new chapter is about to begin in Sophia Topham’s rugby career.
She began playing at the age of five, but has now reached the age where she is no longer allowed to be part of mixed sex teams.
The 12-year-old is now looking for an all-girls team in East Yorkshire, so she can carry on playing the sport she loves.
Sophia was brought up with a rugby background, as both her parents had played both rugby union and league. She decided to start playing rugby for Bridlington after watching her mum play at the local rugby club.
She started off by joining Bridlington under 7s, a mixed boys and girls team playing tag rugby, and then progressed through the age groups.
At the age of nine, Sophia began to play full contact rugby while still in a mixed team.
Mum Helen said: “The contact game of tackle did not deter Sophia from playing and made her a stronger and a more determined player.
“She has continued to play full contact rugby up to the age of 12, where she has proved to herself and others to be a great asset to the team.
“Now, she sadly has to depart from her team mates, to play in an all-girls team.
“During this time, she has trained with the Bridlington Bulls Girls where the team were invited to play at Hull Kingston Rovers home ground, Craven Park, as a curtain raiser in front of a full home crowd.”
Sophia’s final season saw the merger of Bridlington and Driffield to make one team. This proved to be one of the hardest seasons yet, coming up against some tough teams.
However, it gave her the opportunity to go on tour to Leicester and to gain experience from playing teams further afield.
At the end of the season, Sophia received the coaches’ Player of the Year awardsfor her dedication and commitment to the team no matter what the weather.
During the past year she has also been invited to play and train with an up-and-coming girls team based within East Yorkshire, and she hopes to continue with her rugby by being part of the under 15s Yorkshire Team in the forthcoming season.
She thanked all the coaches who have supported her over the years in Bridlington and Driffield.