England women’s rugby: Leading by example

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By Barbara Sike

The Red Roses amazed the world with a brilliant Grand Slam win in the 2017 Six Nations games. This was the first time England Women’s Rugby won the title since 2012 and it’s allowing them to build on success in the future.

“It gives us a springboard now and it keeps our winning mentality going,” said Simon Middleton, England head coach in an interview with the Rugby Football Union.

Rugby players are often considered role models because of their work ethic and values. Three of the winning Red Roses gave an exclusive interview to GoThinkBig, an organisation that has been formed to support youngsters between the ages of 16-24 on the career ladder.

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Three Red Roses spread the sporting word to women everywhere. Photo Credit: Barbara Sike

“The best advice I have ever got was to always work like I am second,” said player Amber Reed, explaining how she stays motivated to work her hardest at top levels.

When asked about how they see the future of women’s sports, Rachael Burford said “We want to get to the level of men’s, to be on a 50-50 level on and off the pitch.”

Women’s rugby is reaching unprecedented heights with an ambitious goal of doubling the number of participants within the next four years. Young women are more and more keen to get involved in competitive sports and the opportunities are growing faster and higher.

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Tia Clarke, 20, a customer service advisor at Better Gym and active member of her local women-only sports club in Islington, said: “I never really had a role model, but I remember seeing Rachel Yankey and other Arsenal ladies when I was younger, and just training with them and seeing their passion and how they talked about sports, it showed me that there is a deeper meaning to things.”

What the future holds for women in sports is unsure, but the hard work and enthusiasm has proven that nothing is impossible. And at the end what matters is – like the Red Roses say: “to just enjoy”.

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