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INTERVIEW: Heysham Atoms look for new players as training restarts 

Andy Helme and Caitlin Stokes visited the Beyond Radio studio for our Saturday Sports Show

Heysham Atoms rugby league club will restart training this week and are interested in new players joining at all levels.

Along with their already existing men's, ladies', juniors' and masters' teams, the club are setting up an under 16s ladies' team.

A taster session, for girls between 14 and 16 who want to join the team, will take place at Heysham Atoms’ new home - King George’s Playing Field - on Sunday (January 14) from 10.30am. 

Girls who are interested should contact heyshamatomsrfl@gmail.com and, on the day, bring a training kit, boots and a water bottle.

On last Saturday’s edition of the Saturday Sports Show, club coach Andy Helme and ladies team player Caitlin Stokes talked about an exciting time for the club, including the new under 16 ladies' team. 

LISTEN to Andy and Caitlin talking to Alistair Fisher and Ross Chapman on the Saturday Sports Show

“As a club, we’re expanding all the time”, said Andy.

“Eight years ago, we were just one side - an open age men’s team.

“We now have the possibility of 15 sides across the club this year, 150 kids plus playing rugby league every weekend from ages five to 16.”

“It’s great, we’re a real success story, it’s come with challenges but we never turn anyone away.”

Speaking about the taster day, Caitlin said: “Anyone can come down, have a fun session and get involved with the rugby, and meet the ladies as well!”

Heysham Atoms are pictured below in action in 2022.

Ladies over 30 and men over 35 can join masters' teams at the club. 

The games played by the masters' teams will all be friendlies.

“The masters games are all friendlies, it’s the social side of the club,” said Andy.

“They organise their own games, and it’s a great way of keeping people involved with the club and keeping the club building.”

Over the weekend, the club’s committee members and volunteers were hard at work on the club’s new ground, King George’s Playing Field in Heysham, setting up the posts and much more.

The new ground is also the home of Westgate Wanderers FC, with whom ‘the Atoms’ will share a 25-year lease.

“We’re absolutely delighted”, Andy said about the new ground.

“This was always our big vision: to find our own ground.

“It’s in the Heysham area as well, which goes with our name.

“We’ve worked really closely with Lancaster City Council, they’ve been brilliant in finding us a place.

“Once we found a place, we contacted Westgate Wanderers, who were only too happy to have us on board.”

The club’s kit, which will eventually be worn by all teams within the coming seasons - starting with the men’s, under 9s and under 15s teams this season - was unveiled in between Christmas and New Year.

“The kit is the traditional dark blue and light blue with a bit of gold in it, from the original kit back in 1986 when Heysham Atoms first started!”, said Andy.

Meanwhile, the club’s under 12s coach Danny Ginocchio is running 10km every day in January to raise funds for a new kit for his team. 

You can donate to his JustGiving page here.

Training for all teams resumes this week, with dates, times, teams and locations as follows:

Monday January 8 (and every Monday until end of March): Morecambe Bay Academy on Dallam Avenue, LA4 5BG. 6pm-7pm: under 7s to under 12s, 7pm-8pm: under 13s, under 15s, ladies, open age

Tuesday January 9 (and every Tuesday until end of March): Bay Leadership Academy on Osborne Road, LA3 5BG. 6pm-7pm: under 15s

Wednesday January 10 (and every Wednesday until end of March): Salt Ayre Leisure Centre on Doris Henderson Way, LA1 5JS. 6pm-7pm: under 11s and under 12s, 6.45-8pm: under 15s and open age together, ladies, men’s masters and ladies masters

From the beginning of April, training will move to King George’s Playing Fields, with dates and times to be confirmed.

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