The Workington Rugby Team Try-ing For More Women on the Pitch

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It’s a women’s game for the West Cumbrian team tackling stereotypes in sport.

Campaigns such as Sport England’s This Girl Can, have taken huge strides to encourage more women to take up sport. However, one west Cumbian women’s Rugby Union team are way ahead of the game.

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The Workington Zebra Finches began two years ago with just a couple of local women meeting up to train. Now there are 45 players registered with the club and last season, in a huge achievement for the team, seven of them were picked to play for the county.

The ladies are on a mission to bring women’s rugby to Workington and are appealing to potential players, aged 17 and upwards, to put their doubts to one side and join them on the pitch.

Vice-Captain, Charlotte Bowman said: “I think some people are embarrassed, they think they aren’t fit enough to play sport. But rugby is anyone’s sport, you don’t have to be fit, the fitness and stamina comes with the training.

“It’s a sport for everybody, you don’t have to be skinny, it’s for all sizes, shapes and ages.”

She added: “We’ve got girls who play for us, that say ‘you would never see me running two years ago’ and now they’re training twice a week.

Charlotte, got involved through a friend, she went along to try session and has never looked back. Although Charlotte played rugby at school, she insists that no previous experience on the playing field is necessary.

She explained: “The experience comes with training and playing the games. We’re in a development league, so there’s not too much pressure. When we go out there we do want to win, but it’s also about playing the game and developing each person into a confident player.”

Along with the weekly matches, the socialising is an equally important aspect to the team, who organise regular social events as well as fundraising for charity.

Charlotte, who is responsible for the team’s media presence, their kit and equipment, said: “It’s a good way to get out of the house and to have some adult time. When you’re running and focusing on something, it’s a great way to release energy and stress. If you’ve had a bad day, there’s always people who will make you laugh and smile. ”

The Zebra Finches meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30pm – 8pm and with the season kicking off at the beginning of October, they are looking for new players and people to help out with non-physical roles.

Charlotte said: “Ladies rugby is getting more and more awareness, but because it’s the game of rugby, people are often put off. If you ask anybody who plays…they have learnt so many teamship and social skills. We all get on and support each other, you’ve always got someone to turn to within the team.”

With more interest from local women, their aim is to develop an Under 17 girls team and some members are already taking coaching courses to enable them to train new recruits.

Charlotte added: “It’s all about the sport and you’ve got to work as a team to play the sport. But we’re not just a team we’re a family.”

Find @WorkingtonZebraFinchesRUFC on Facebook

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