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- Steph Abelwhite participated in her first Warrior Camp this month
Over the past fortnight hundreds of women have attended Warrior Camps across the country, adding to the 7,000 new players introduced to the game as a result of taster sessions over the past 18 months.
Now into the third wave of Warrior Camps, following successful January and May windows, 174 sessions have been taking place nationwide since August 18 and run until this Sunday.
Kettering RFC girls’ manager Jacky Conyard said the response from new players following their Warrior Camp on August 23 was overwhelmingly positive.
“I did a quick questionnaire asking what the new players liked about the session, what they thought the best bit was and whether they felt welcomed,” explained Jacky.
“They found it very welcoming – all the girls said everyone was really friendly, they found it really fun and there was a good buzz around the evening.
"A lot of the girls that were there are coming back which is exactly what we had hoped to achieve through the session.”
Steph Abelwhite was inspired to attend the Cobham RFC Warrior Camp after watching the Red Roses train in her local gym.
“I’ve seen their dedication first hand and it’s amazing – so it’s cool to be doing something that they’re doing as well.
“I’ve really enjoyed my first session. I decided to come along today to try something new, make some new friends and exercise while doing it and I’m happy to say I’ve succeeded in achieving all three goals.”
England Women Sevens Squad member and Oxfordshire local Olivia Jones supported the Warrior Camp at Oxford RFC, training alongside the new players.
After the session, the ladies joined Oxford RFC club members in the clubhouse to watch England play France in the Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-final.
“This summer has been massive for women’s rugby both from a spectator viewpoint, through the Women’s Rugby World Cup, and from a participation perspective through the nationwide Warrior Camps," said Clare Cooper, RFU women and girls growth manager.
The interest and exposure for the women’s game continues to grow and we’re seeing more and more women getting involved in the sport through our camps which is fantastic.”
Outside of the Warrior Camp windows, click here to find a rugby club near you.