Inner Warrior campaign: Oldham Rugby Club thriving off ‘big buzz’ as women flock to rugby pitch

Oldham Rugby Club is encouraging women to unleash their Inner Warrior as they look to introduce the game to more females as part of a nationwide campaign.

Developed by England Rugby, Meet Your Inner Warrior is aimed at women aged 18-35, encouraging greater female participation in contact rugby across the country.

From May 12-21, more than 150 Warrior Camps will take place at rugby clubs across England with the hope of attracting over 1,000 players to the sport – with sports kit and trainers the only equipment needed.

Oldham will host their event on Sunday 21st May at 2pm, taking place at Byrth Road with a free, fun-packed introduction to the sport in the pipeline.

And with women’s rugby hot on the agenda as the countdown begins to the Women’s World Cup later this summer, captain Deoné Blignaut is eager to see more people than ever pick up a ball for the very first time.

“There is a big buzz at the club. Because we’re the first ever ladies team at the club, a lot is being done for this event.

“We’re aiming to get 60-70 ladies along, and we’re planning on going to local carnivals and events before the 21st to recruit more people.

“We’re a very committed team and want to make this event a success. The team has only been going since January and some of the girls had never touched a rugby ball before, but we’ve recently played our first match.

“It’s going to be a fun-filled day of activities. It’s all about getting the heart rate up, getting the legs moving and making new friends – before having a few sweet treats afterwards!

“Coming from South Africa and being the age that I am, I had never actually had the opportunity to play rugby, so for me to be involved in something like this is so exciting.

“Women’s rugby is starting to finally get the coverage it deserves. People are coming down to our matches and are thinking ‘wow’. They can see that we can offload the ball, we can tackle, and we’re not scared.”

The first round of Inner Warrior camps in January saw more than 1,500 women and girls enjoy their first taste of rugby, many of whom have continued their participation within the sport.

And as the RFU look to further expand the number of females involved in the sport, the continued success of the Inner Warrior campaign is a top priority.

England Women’s player Sarah McKenna said: “The Warrior Camps are perfect for those keen to get involved, get outdoors, keep fit and make friends.

“I’ve gained so much from rugby, both on, and off, the pitch, and would challenge everyone to step out of their comfort zone and meet their Inner Warrior.”

From May 12-21 over 150 Warrior Camps will take place in rugby clubs across England. To sign up or register your interest, head

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