From the get-go, the club welcomed in 25 new members. With the majority of these players having limited rugby experience, consistent rugby training sessions were vital. When lockdown was reintroduced, committee and coach Amanda Jones aimed to provide as much training engagement as possible.
Red Roses star Vicky Fleetwood was able to join in events conducting a fitness session online. This opportunity gave the club an insight into the professional side of the sport and how important fitness and team communication is.
From this, multiple challenges and friendly competition were set up to continue high club involvement. Opportunities such as a ‘15 Day Fitness Challenge’ and an intraclub ‘Indoor Six Nations’ were encouraged. In so doing, indoor rugby skills and fitness levels have been maintained despite lockdown restrictions remaining in place.
Continuously, the Wolfpack has also engaged in external competition through uea+sport’s ‘Clash of Clubs’ where most of UEA’s sports teams competed in weekly events. After consistently ranking top in multiple events, Women’s Rugby have gone on to prove they enjoy a bit of friendly opposition!
Upon the recent lifting of restrictions, an intraclub 7s tournament was able to take place. This provided the girls with a rugby match for the first time in over a year- all of whom excelled. For many, this was the first experience of rugby in play and allowed a new confidence to be found. With upcoming matches and tournaments in the Summer, the club hopes engagement will continue to grow.
The introduction of ‘Welfare Officer’ onto the committee also enabled members to speak out about any difficulties going on in their day to day lives. Denika Millington, who was elected into the position has provided a safe environment for people to speak out and support each other. The club has prided itself on this family ethos where people can take care of one another. As university can be a difficult time for many, the introduction of this role is hoped to have a continuing legacy of looking after the team. Additionally, Denika was able to provide members with the opportunity to gain the Mental Health First Aid England qualification, so further support for the club could be provided.
The award has proven to be well and truly deserved. President Libby Bonis has been on the frontline of the club’s business. She has enabled an abundance of opportunities for the Wolfpack’s team members, regularly engaging and organising events with committee.
‘In what has been an incredibly difficult year for many I would like to thank all of our Wolfpack members new and experienced for the commitment, enthusiasm, and willingness to indulge themselves in the full university rugby experience despite the challenges this year has posed.’
There is hope the achievement of the award will continue to attract new members to participate after such a great year. Congratulations to the whole club, a fantastic achievement!