FORMED just three years ago, Warminster Rugby Club’s Pink Panthers have already achieved more than they believed was possible.

Now they have the chance to continue their success story after being named as finalists for our Junior Team of the Year award, sponsored by Platinum Motor Company.

The Pink Panthers started out as three female players participating for fun, but now have 20 girls in attendance at weekly training sessions thanks to a recruitment drive in local schools.

As well as boosting morale among image-conscious teenagers, the club gives them the chance to instil the RFU Core Values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship into their everyday lives.

Kingdown School will introduce girls’ rugby in January after being encouraged by the enthusiasm of the Pink Panthers players, three of whom have been picked to represent Dorset & Wiltshire.

Handball at Sheldon School in Chippenham has also proven an instant winner, so much so that the U13 boys’ team have secured a place alongside the Pink Panthers on our award shortlist.

PE teacher Rob Humphreys added the sport to the school’s curriculum two years ago and saw a group of Year Seven and Eight pupils go close to landing the English Schools’ title in 2017.

A number of Sheldon teams have made it to the South West finals over the past two years but the U13 boys went one better by winning the regional crown.

At the national finals at Worcester University, they won three of their five matches and missed out on a place in the final play-off match by just two points.

Their third-placed finish still represented a triumph, given that 1,400 teams had entered the competition.

An impressive group of three finalists is completed by Wrag Barn Golf Club’s junior team, who enjoyed an unprecedented season on the county scene.

Demonstrating hard work and talent in abundance, Wrag Barn won all five Wiltshire team honours on offer in 2017.

Captained by Lewis Ward, they were crowned Wiltshire champions after pipping High Post to top spot following victories over their nearest rivals, Cumberwell Park, Broome Manor and North Wilts.

The win qualified them for the South West final at Minchinhampton, which they won by 13 shots, but they finished as runners-up to Bramsham in the Southern semi-final.

They began their stellar season with victory in May’s Wiltshire Junior Team Shield event at Cumberwell Park and went on to add the Ridgeway League (three-a-side) title, the Junior Finals Day Shield and the Wiltshire Junior Knockout to their collection.

The 2017 Wiltshire Sports Awards, set up by the Swindon Advertiser, Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times in conjunction with Wiltshire & Swindon Sport (WASP).

Newsquest Wiltshire group sports editor Owen Houlihan, WASP CEO Steve Boocock and 1968 Olympic 400m hurdles champion David Hemery will meet in January to decide the award winners.

All the winners will be announced at the Corn Exchange celebration ceremony at the end of January, which will include an audience with 1985 World Snooker champion and now-television commentator Dennis Taylor, who will be guest speaker.

The evening will be a celebration of all of the winners for all of the categories, and tickets are available priced at £15 per adult and £9 per child, to include a buffet.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Ian Parker on 01793 501731 or email