The first week of our Easter camps has come to an end and it was great to see so many kids attend our camp and residential at Ely Tigers Rugby Club & Box Hill School. The nature of our camp at Ely has already been portrayed with over 30 kids attending on both days and the fun atmosphere at the camp was helped by the good weather that we have been blessed with this week. With the sun shining, it was great that we could return to Ely RFC & put on another camp there.
As for our residential at Box Hill School, which saw 16 girls from different clubs, including Guildfordians RFC, Havant RFC and even some girls who were given the opportunity to come through Middlesex RFU, attend for four-days of rugby and other fun activities. It was great to see so many kids from different clubs be able to have fun and integrate together so easily throughout the course of the residential. It looked as though they had made good friends with each other, despite having never met before the start. It shows what the power of sport can do in terms of confidence and attitude towards other people.
We are proud that we can support girls rugby in this way, by giving them an opportunity to come and attend a camp like this and be able to develop their rugby skills but also to have the chance to build other life skills and confidence when surrounded by people they might not necessarily meet.
As well as having a diverse number of girls from different clubs, it was great to see so many of our coaches come from different clubs, sports & nationalities. The girls were coached throughout the week by four Tyrrell's Premier 15s players, who were Emi Sutton (Harlequins Womens), Angela Radazzano (Richmond Ladies), Chantelle Miell (Saracens Women & England Womens 7s) and Victoria Petersson (Harlequins Womens & Sweden 7s/15s). All these women play top level rugby and it was great for us to be able to use them this week at our residential. Their coaching pedigree is invaluable. There was also the pleasure of having our Lions team members Chloe Butler (Harlequins Womens & Australia) and Holly Myers (Harlequins Womens & Ex-England Rugby League) attend the residential too.
It is amazing to see so many of our team come from not only different teams but also backgrounds, and be able to work together to put on a great spectacle for the girls.
However, these were not the only stars of our residential, as the girls were also provided with two more suprises on Wednesday. Firstly, England Womens World Cup Winner Vicky Fleetwood came along and gave a tactical video session. She went through some of her games and was able to highlight some of the key passages of the game and show what was good and bad from these situations. This allowed the girls to gain an insight into how Vicky would prepare for her matches with England & Saracens by either scouting the opposition and how they play or reviewing her own game after a match.
The next surprise at the end of the day saw a visit from Harlequins & England Womens Grand Slam Winner Leanne Riley, who spoke to the girls about her journey into rugby and how she overcame the ups and downs in order to reach the level she is today. She then answered questions from the girls & posed for photos with them. It was great to have Vicky & Leanne give up their time to come along and talk to these girls, many of whom look up to them as role models, and give them the opportunity to speak to their heroes.
The final day saw a visit from Coco Fuzion 100 to hand out some free goodies to the girls, that they could take home to remember their time on the residential.
It is a great shame that it had to end so quickly but everyone at Lions would like to thank all those who attended or coached over the four days and we can't wait to hold our next residential soon!