Women’s Rugby: 30 years on

A lot has changed at UEA in the 30 years since the women’s rugby club was founded. However, the fun and fitness the team provides have remained the same. Since its origins as part [of the men’s team, coached by the fantastic Ben Walker, UEAWRUFC has firmly established itself as a club on campus in its own right. It has built a space of support, freedom, growth, and encouragement. From its original 30 members, the 2021/22 club has grown significantly to include 56 members, as well as two competitive teams – one in the BUCS Tier 1 League and one in NC2 – and two dedicated coaches. 

Women’s rugby has continued to grow in popularity – the Women’s Six Nations was broadcast for the first time on the BBC in 2021 and will be sponsored by TikTok this year. UEAWRUFC is determined to continue the fight for equality in women’s sport and hopes that the increased coverage of women’s rugby will encourage more players to play. 

Moreover, the club supports the recent movement pressing rugby clubs across the UK to ensure that the 1st team pitch is available for those who are competing at the highest level, rather than just males. Teamwork and support are inherent in rugby and UEAWRUFC are no different. The club prides itself on the wide range of members that make up the Wolfpack, regardless of their level of experience, background, or degree. 

As past member, Sarah Brett recalls, “It didn’t matter if you’d never been in a team before, or weren’t built like a gazelle- if you were game enough you were in! The camaraderie meant you wanted to make the team proud.” 

Friendships are formed between people that otherwise might never have met, and are all quickly bonded within the rugby community, just as they would 30 years ago. Just like our predecessors, the pitches still function as a much-needed outlet for stress from the pressures of uni life. Rugby is so much more than muddy knees, tackling, and scoring tries. 

As the sport continues to thrive at UEA, we hope UEAWRUFC continues to provide an inclusive community of fitness, trust, and support for its members on and off the pitch, and to encourage all players to participate in this empowering sport.

Come and find the Wolfpack training every Monday and Friday from 5-7 pm down at the Colney Lane pitches!

Special thanks to: Poppy Wakefield

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Melis Erdem and Claudia Holmes

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August 2022
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