Shaw Cross Sharks are set to create a new chapter in their French exchange history as their Under-14 girls team will travel to France for the first time.
However the girls team will not be making the usual trip to Villeneuve-sur-Lot but travelling to take on Clairac RLFC, who are based just south of Villeneuve in the south-west of France.
The trip is planned for September 3 with the team travelling back on September 6 where they hope to play two games against Clairac during their visit.
Wayne Hirst, who coaches for the U-14 side is excited to be a part of a piece of club history, almost 50 years after the first ever French exchange.
Shaw Cross are also hoping to turn the exchange into an annual event with the clubs taking turns to travel each year.
“They have had the exchange with Villeneuve going on for many years, it is exciting for the girls to have their own exchange now,” said Wayne.
“It will hopefully be a great experience and something the girls will be able to have good memories off and they will be able to get some playing experience as well.
“One of the parents who is coming with us was involved in the exchange when he was a kid and now he gets to come with his daughter so it is a really exciting thing for everyone involved.
“I have only been involved with Shaw Cross for a few years so it is all new to me, we are taking 20 girls with us and it is an exciting thought to be able take a team on tour as a coach.
“We want to build relationships and slowly but surely build up an exchange in similar fashion to what the boys teams have.”
The girls side was only formed three years ago and has grown into two separate teams with over 30 girls signed on at the Sharks.
Wayne will also be able to experience the tour with his daughter Madison, who is the reason that he initially became involved with the girls team.
“Shaw Cross had a girls team that had loads of different age groups so I took Madison up and they would play friendlies from time to time,” added Wayne.
“It is something that has just grown and grown and initially I helped out with training and then ended up taking over as coach.
“It is special to be able to go with my daughter who is my oldest and then my son who is nine can hopefully go over to France with the boys in years to come.”
The U-14s have been raising funds to help finance their trip with a goal set of £1,000.
The team did a bucket collection during the Dewsbury Rams game against Sheffield Eagles a few weeks ago and raised £256 towards the total.
Tonight the team are also holding a race night at the Crown on Leeds Road at 6pm tonight.
A Just Giving page has also been set up to raise funds and anyone wishing to donate can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stacey-archer.
Updated 11:30 - 13 Aug 2017 by Ben McKenna