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In the Spotlight – Women's Rugby

Lou Micklewright, of the moody cows, spoke to me in depth about the increased participation, recognition and support that women’s rugby is getting. We discuss everything from injuries to input in the women’s game. Check out my interview with Lou here:

How has women’s rugby game evolved since you first started participating?
Women’s rugby is becoming far more professional with every season that passes. Women in the game are becoming huge role models for younger girls who are getting into rugby as well as being role models for their own team mates. Look at players like Sophie Hemming, Claire Purdy and Maggie Alphonsi who are at the top of their game and have worked incredibly hard to get where they are, yet they are so humble and always have time to give advice to other players.

Girls are now getting into rugby at a much younger age than say, 10 or 20 years ago. It is becoming a popular sporting choice now, just as much as Hockey and Netball. The opportunity for girls to play rugby at junior level is huge and nearly every rugby club across the country will see girls running out to train with the boys and give them a good challenge on the pitch!

Do you think the perception of women in sport has changed in recent years?
Yes, hugely! I think women are getting great recognition for their place in sport across the board and female sporting achievements are definitely being rewarded. The Olympics in 2012 were incredible for women in sport with Katherine Grainger, Nicola Adams and Ellie Simmonds making huge strides for women in sport becoming household names.

Maggie Alphonsi received the Pat Marshall Rugby Writers award in 2011 becoming the first female to ever win this award. She has also been recognised for her services to rugby by receiving an MBE in 2012. This is huge for women in sport and definitely makes you proud to play sport as a female.

You play the 7’s game, can you briefly explain the befits of this?
7s is obviously less players on the pitch; 7 a side, 7 minutes each way. This obviously means a lot more space to run and pass the ball around. It is a very skilful game and sees players creating lots of space and using their footwork and pace to play some pretty amazing rugby and score some great crowd pleasing tries. The girls love it.

There is a preconceived idea about rugby being a man’s game, what would you say to this and what is the worst injury you have ever had?
I would say that was rubbish! I’ve had a couple of bad injuries but nothing to serious. I broke my nose at the Dubai 7s tournament in 2006 when I was greeted head first by one of the USA players, it stung a bit! I’ve also fractured my cheek bone in a 15 a side league game last year. The most common injuries with the girls seem to be shoulders and knees and I would say this was the same with men.

Talking of injuries, what is the worst injury you’ve ever seen?
The worst has got to be a broken leg at Amsterdam 7s. I was watching England women play in one of their pool games and Sonia Green broke her leg and the bone was pretty much sticking out. She looked like she was in a whole world of pain. It happened right next to the watching crowds. It was painful to watch so she must have been in agony.

All this talk of injuries brings us nicely on to FirstAid4Sport, We supply you with all of your first aid and physio needs, which of our products do you use the most?
As a squad we go through metres of the zinc oxide tape, taping all the players’ back together ready for the next game. We are huge fans of the cow print K-Tape which cool!

How do you rate FirstAid4Sports service and equipment?
First rate. Always friendly, always approachable and always happy to get involved and help out the squad with our first aid and physio needs.

Hopefully the team won’t pick up any injuries at your upcoming tournament, how excited are you about travelling to Dubai?
Really excited! Dubai 7s is an international invitational 7s and we are very proud to be invited back to play. This tournament is always special for the Moody Cows as it was the first ever tournament we took part in 2004. In 2011 we got to the final but unfortunately lost by 2 points. Hopefully 2013 will be the year for the Cows!

We have a great squad travelling to Dubai. Not only are we team mates but we are also close friends which always makes it that little bit more special when you are out there playing together. The girls play with so much heart and commitment in every single game. I can’t wait to step out onto the pitch with them again at a very special tournament.

Not only do you participate in Rugby tournaments but you are also very active off the pitch?
Yes defiantly, to date Moody Cows have raised over £15,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support through various events. The team have ran marathons, climbed mountains, completed tough guy challenges, cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats and back and are always planning the next challenge.

I’m sure you would all agree that the moody cows are true sporting inspirations. You can follow their progress by following us on Twitter @FirstAid4Sport. On behalf of everyone at FirstAid4Sport, we wish them the very best of luck. To find out more and to sponsor the team on the quest to be champions please click here – macmillan.tributefunds.com/MoodyCows

 

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