PORTSMOUTH’s women’s team, the Valkyries, are hoping their recent Warrior Camp will help with recruitment.
The club are on the up and have been boosted by some ambitious new coaches.
They hosted the event on Saturday, May 27 at their Rugby Camp base on Norway Road.
It saw them attract potential members at youth and senior level.
Developed by England rugby, Meet Your Inner Warrior is a new campaign aimed at women aged 18 to 35, encouraging greater female participation in contact rugby across the country.
In May, more than 150 Warrior Camps took place at rugby clubs across England with the hope of attracting more than 1,000 players to the sport – with sports kit and trainers the only equipment needed.
‘Everyone had a really good time,’ said player Harriet Chandler.
‘We all worked hard, it was a two-hour session but they all really enjoyed it.
‘Everyone was laughing a lot and we had a game of touch at the end.
‘We’ll hopefully get a few of them back.
‘Most were brand new to rugby too, so for us it was mostly about making sure they had a good time, and showing the camaraderie that comes with the game.
‘We tried to split them up with the most experienced girls.
‘What’s nice about our club is that we have a whole range of ages and experience as well.’
With women’s rugby hot on the agenda as the countdown begins to the Women’s Rugby World Cup later this summer, Chandler is banking on increased interest to help boost Portsmouth’s numbers.
They are looking to expand both the senior and junior ranks and the club is in a good place.
Chandler said: ‘We had a couple of quiet years, but we’ve been growing for the past three years, year on year.
‘We’ve got new coaches at the start of last season who are quite ambitious.
‘They’re going to carry on working with us.
‘I’ve only been playing for a few years myself, whereas others have been playing since they were kids.
‘It’s really nice, there’s something for everyone.
‘The newbies really came out of their shells at the end and hopefully we’ll see them back soon for pre-season.
‘It’s just seniors at the moment. Our intentions are just to get under 13, 15 and 18 age groups going.
‘And hopefully a second women’s team as well.’
For details on how to Meet Your Inner Warrior, and register your interest in an upcoming Warrior Camp, head to englandrugby.com/innerwarrior or go to findrugby.com to find a rugby club near you.