Ladies in Liverpool get top tips from Rugby World Cup winner
The Ladies of Liverpool found themselves trying out something new at Liverpool ONE yesterday with England Rugby World Cup winner and RFU Spirit of Rugby ambassador Maggie Alphonsi. We sent our Kate down to Chavasse Park to get involved.
Maggie was in town to showcase the best in the game and encourage more women and girls to give rugby a try and gave me a warm welcome despite the constant rain showers. After a good chat about Rio I got to take on the former England international in an inflatable passing cage, a throwing tower, a kicking cage and the gauntlet run as well as learn some top tips from one of the sport’s best.
It turns out I’m not a naturally gifted player, but I had such a laugh with local players from some local Liverpool teams such as Waterloo RFC and Liverpool Collegiate RUFC, and I even managed to kick a couple of shots on target, so I didn’t completely embarrass myself!
The atmosphere was great, with lots of shoppers wandering over to see what was going on as the laughter and cheering carried across Liverpool One.
“I’ve had a fantastic day,” said Alphonsi. “It has been terrific to see so many women and girls trying out rugby, and giving something new a go! Women’s rugby is a game like no other and I hope today that I have helped show people what fun this sport can be. What’s more, with Sevens being played in the Olympics for the first time we are exposing the sport to a huge audience and I am sure the GB women’s team will have inspired more players to give rugby a go across the country. Rugby has certainly had a massively positive impact on my life and I want to see other people benefit from the sport too.”
Maggie is supporting the event as a Spirit of Rugby ambassador. Spirit of Rugby is a nationwide project funded by the Spirit of 2012 and it aims to ensure the spirit that radiated from London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is felt across the UK.
The projects are uniquely led and devised by 16-24 year-olds with the aim of increasing participation through new and innovative events, which engage groups not traditionally involved in rugby.
In Liverpool, the Spirit of Rugby group has been focusing on increasing the awareness of rugby in a football-dominated area, and getting more people involved in the game, be it students, coaches and volunteers.
Waterloo RFC event volunteer, Keisha Hendricks, said: “This has been a brilliant day. It has been great to see so many women and girls from the area come down and give rugby a go. It has been nice to see a real focus on women’s sport and women’s rugby and I know this event is going to have an impact on rugby in this area. I am looking forward to seeing some new faces coming down to our clubs.
“It’s also been fantastic having a real rugby hero in Maggie Alphonsi attending. She has really enthused everyone who has turned up, even though it is raining, and shown people what is great about our game, whether you’re small or big, and from any background.”
For more information about women’s rugby and how you can get involved, check out: http://findrugby.com/