‘If we can get five hard-nosed members, job done’: Bury RFC hail women’s rugby growth post Inner Warrior campaign

Bury RFC Ladies coach Phil Kay admits he was bowled over by the enthusiasm shown by players at their recent ‘Warrior Camp’ – insisting he could not 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 29, Bury held their free event at their Bury Sports Club home, in Radcliffe Road, and welcomed nearly three dozen new players into their fold for a fun and informal session.

And for Kay, he couldn’t be more thrilled by how well the event was received.

“It could not have gone any better – we had 34 women who have never played before, and just over 50 overall,” he exclaimed.

“It took a lot of work from people – a lot of tweeting, Facebook stuff, passing words through friends of friends etc, I also got on the local radio.

“From a rugby perspective, we did a carousel and let the ladies lead it. It was mainly non-contact, but we did a bit of that too, but nothing too taxing.

“The players seemed to love it it’s all about having fun at the end of the day. All the players that we have, have never played before.”

Bury’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.

Bury’s women’s side has been running for just six months, and Kay admitted that if the Warrior Camp can produce just five regular club members, then he will be happy.

“Quite a few said they’ll come and have another go. We had probably six new faces at training session afterwards and a few more said they’d come to the next one,” he added.

“If we can get five hard-nosed members, then we’ve done our job.

“Women’s club has been going about six months. Started in single figures, now we’ve got about 15 players registered, so we’re looking to develop it.

“Some of them are not sure about contact at this stage, so it’s about trying to balance that. Maybe on one of the training night for newbies we’ll do a bit more of a contact session.”

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