England Rugby’s ‘Inner Warrior’ campaign encourages women to try a new sport and reap the benefits

Women in south west London are being encouraged to release their inner warrior and try contact rugby for free.

A series of Warrior Camps taking place throughout September will introduce women to a new sport as part of England Rugby’s ‘Inner Warrior’ campaign.

Trainee veterinary nurse Kimberley Bennett, 30, took part in the Inner Warrior campaign two years ago and today plays for London’s Croydon RFC.

She said: “I was struggling. It was kind of like I had retreated into myself and didn’t have any confidence, but being surrounded by all these amazing women who are so strong and confident brought me out of my shell.

“I have lost over 20 pounds and physically and mentally, I feel like a completely different person.”

The Inner Warrior campaign has helped to bring thousands of new players into the game, offering women a fun opportunity to broaden their horizons and to try out a new sport for free. More than 18,000 women have attended a Warrior Camp to date, with rugby becoming one of the fastest growing female sports in England, rising 185% in the last seven years and today boasting approximately 37,000 women and girls who are registered to play rugby in clubs.

A typical Warrior Camp consists of activities that are used to teach participants the skills and techniques of rugby, challenging players to compete, learn, have fun, get fit and make new friends along the way. Many participants have gone on to enjoy an ongoing relationship with the sport as players, coaches and volunteers.

Steve Grainger, rugby development director at the RFU said: “Women and girls’ rugby in England is going from strength to strength across all levels and grassroots rugby, in particular, has experienced rapid growth.  The roll out of successful programmes such as the Warrior Camps are key to maintaining this momentum. We look forward to building on this success during the 2019/20 season.”

Forthcoming sessions in south west London include at Rosslyn Park FC on September 18 from 7.15pm to 8.45pm and at Streatham-Croydon RFC, Thornton Heath on September 17 from 7.30pm to 9pm (both ages 17 and over). More information is available on the website.

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