‘We can offer rugby for everybody’: Richmond Warrior Camp big try-umph as more women take up sport

Richmond Ladies RFC chair Laura Kapo admits she was bowled over by the enthusiasm shown by players at their recent ‘Warrior Camp’ – insisting she couldn’t be prouder to see more women taking up the sport.

Launched in January, England Rugby’s new nationwide campaign ‘Meet Your Inner Warrior’ saw clubs up and down the country stage special sessions to encourage more women and girls to take up contact rugby within their communities.

On January 22, Richmond held their free event at their home ground and welcomed several new players into their fold for a fun and informal session.

And for Kapo, she could not be more thrilled by how well the event was received.

“It went really well,” she said. “We were a little bit tested by the weather, it was super cold and frosty and the ground was really hard.

“We did really well in terms of turnout though, especially among the juniors – there were 25 altogether, three of whom were brand new to playing any rugby and three or four who had been re-attracted to the sport. We also had eight new seniors come along.

“They really enjoyed it, and our current girls really engaged with them, especially the newer ones. They didn’t feel too pressured.”

Richmond’s Warrior Camp was one of 100 run by clubs across England between January 19-29, aimed at women between the ages of 18 and 35.

The RFU is keen to see women break out of their comfort zone by playing the sport, and comes on the back of the organisation achieving its objective of getting 25,000 women in England playing contact rugby.

And while her club are well-established in terms of the women’s game, Kapo has high hopes that they can continue to grow.

“We’re in our 31st season as a women’s club,” she said. “We can offer rugby for everybody, because of our location, club history and reputation, we still attract new players to the sport.

“It’s nice to be able to offer people somewhere to play their rugby.

“We’re going to keep in touch with our new players for future events. We’re hoping to have another one in the summer, to try and get them back in when the weather is a bit more forgiving!”

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