Dunfermline Rugby Football Club has today (Wednesday 6 July) confirmed the appointment of Gary Kenhard to the women’s Head Coach role for the upcoming 2022/23 season.
The former Edinburgh U21 and Heriot’s prop moves on from his coaching role with the Dunfermline Colts (boys U18) to head up the women’s side, who play in Scottish Rugby’s Tennent’s East/Midlands league.
Kenhard first joined the coaching staff at Dunfermline in 2010, starting out with the U13 boys. Since then, the Police Constable has completed his Level 1 and 2 Coaching Qualifications, as well as his Level 1 in Strength and Conditioning, and most recently completed a BSc in Sport, Fitness and Coaching at the Open University.
Kenhard (51), who was also involved as a player at Scotland Age Grade levels, is excited about the challenge ahead, saying: “I could see from afar that the women were motivated and keen to learn. I was seeking a new coaching challenge as I’m keen to test myself. I have had my Level 2 for some time and wanted to better implement that alongside the knowledge I have gained in my degree.
“The opportunity to coach the women felt like an excellent fit for me as they look to grow and develop following their inaugural competitive season. There are many aspects that make a good team, and the women appear both committed and connected, and there is a lot of positive energy in the team. Now it’s time for us to match those attributes with a high-quality learning environment in which they can thrive.
“My overarching goal is to set a training and playing scene that allows the players to enjoy their rugby whilst allowing their skills and rugby confidence to excel in that environment. If we get that right, I firmly believe we will be a team to be reckoned with in the league this year and I see absolutely no reason for us not to be able to take on what are perceived to be the established teams.”
Kenhard will be bolstered with coaching support from Pauline Rae and Sean Fisher.
Rae (49), who stepped in as Interim Head Coach in January, will now work alongside Kenhard as the women’s Assistant Coach. Having first joined the women’s team as a player in 2019, Rae then moved into a coaching role with the team in late 2020. Ahead of the new season starting, she will complete her Aspiring Coach qualification (Level 2) with Scottish Rugby.
Fisher (21), who currently plays for Tennent’s Premiership side Currie Chieftains and has been involved in U19 and U20 Scotland Age Grade rugby, will remain in position as the women’s Forwards Coach.
Kenhard added: “It’s important to me that we build on the good foundations that have already been laid by the team before me, and I am excited to work alongside Pauline and Sean. We all bring good experiences and specific skill-sets to the team and this will do doubt go a long way to supporting player development.”
Welcoming the news of Kenhard’s appointment, Dunfermline President Scott Murphy said: “We are really pleased to see Gary taken the next step in this coaching career and take on the role as our women’s Head Coach. Gary’s rugby knowledge is equally matched by his personal experiences having played at the top end of the game in Scotland for a number of years. Having a leader of this calibre will stand the women’s team in good stead for the season ahead.
“I’d like to give thanks to Cammy Dunn for all his hard work in leading the establishment of the women’s section at Dunfermline since 2019 and for his unwavering commitment to the Head Coach role over the last few years.”