There’s been so many of you who have commented or messaged me to say you were signing up to an England Rugby Warrior Camp after reading my posts, which is amazing to hear! I’ve done two now – both were quite different to each other – so I thought I’d put together a little about what I learned as a newbie to women’s rugby.
In short, if you’re feeling nervous about trying rugby for the first time, then there’s absolutely no need to be. I’ve had loads of fun both times and everyone’s been really welcoming, so I’m confident you’ll enjoy it. Read on to find out my tips, then check out the remaining Warrior Camps available to book, and let me know how you get on!
This post is in collaboration with England Rugby Warrior Camps
This past weekend Deansgate was closed to traffic (for those unfamiliar, it’s the backbone road of the city centre) not only for the Bupa 10K but also for the Great City Games. Manchester is proud of its sporting heritage and the legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth games seems to live on and on, and sporting events in the city draw sports enthusiasts and proud Mancunians alike.
I’d like to think I fit into both of those categories, so I made sure I was up at the front to watch the City Games. I was mostly fascinated by the speed displayed by the sprinters, yet the ease of their movement; up-close you can really see the power that comes from their backsides to propel them forward off the starting blocks. And we really were close-up! Deansgate is only the size of your average road so there were no seats, and a small metal barrier was the only thing separating us from the action.
It was also awesome to see Christine Ohuruogu – one of Great Britain’s most successful athletes of all time, who came 3rd in the 200m – and Yohan “Beast” Blake. The Beast certainly lived up to his named and absolutely smashed the 150m to win with a time of 14.71 seconds.
An incredible day with some fantastic results for British athletes, boding well for Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games. Roll on July!
To the dismay of many a boyfriend (alright.. two. I haven’t had THAT many boyfriends) I have always held a bit of a disdain for football. It’s not the game itself I dislike, it’s everything that surrounds it: the players’ ridiculous salaries, the controversies, and the unruly fans. My ears pricked up a few weeks ago though when I heard England women’s team beat Montenegro 9-0 – mainly because I didn’t even know we HAD a national women’s team!
For once, I paid keen attention when my boyfriend watched MOTD that night. Surely with such an achievement there would be at least a small mention – but no. Backofbeyond United’s 1-1 draw with Arsend Rovers was clearly much more important.
As a sport we are actually quite good at, why does it get such little exposure? It would be too easy to say that men are not interested, as I know this isn’t true. I paid the grand sum of £3 to watch Manchester City Women’s play Chelsea in the FAWSL quarter final and I’d guesstimate men represented 60% of attendees. Though matchgoers’ numbers were low passions were high as a men’s game, with the same comments about the referee being bellowed as you’d expect in the Premier League.
Personally, I think it comes down to sponsorship. In 2011 women’s football received only 0.5% of all sports sponsorship, with men’s at 61.1%. Interestingly the same report claims there was interest shown by the general public in women’s sports, and whether these figures have changed since the Olympic sports boom is unknown; but it is clear that investment is needed in women’s football to help it reach a wider audience. Without the huge investment from sponsors – like AON, Standard Chartered and Etihad – men’s football and the players’ salaries would not be at the heady heights they are today: it seems to be a “chicken or egg” situation.
In 1921 the FA claimed that “football is quite unsuitable for females” and banned the game until 1971 – taking this into consideration I’d say it’s come on in leaps and bounds the past few years! After all, there must be others like me who aren’t keen on the egos and earnings in the men’s game, but are interested in the skill, speed and teamwork required. At the measly price of three quid maybe a selfish part of me doesn’t want the whole country to know, however this can’t be sustainable for the long-term. Organisations like the WSFF are coming to prominence and teams like Manchester City are taking their women’s teams seriously; perhaps in the next few years sponsors will follow suit and women will have their rightful place in football.