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Students Tackle their Way on to England Rugby Team

23rd April 2013 <b>Students</b> Tackle their Way on to England Rugby Team

Two students at Calderdale College have got through the two-stage selection process and are now part of the 2013 England student rugby team. Level 3 Public Services student, Sophie Fisher and Level 3 Sport student, Paige Costello are one step closer to playing rugby professionally for RFU England Women.

The first stage of the selection process focused on the girls’ skill base and how they play and the second stage of the selection process focused on fitness testing and gameplay. The girls started training with the squad in March and will continue to train in the gym twice a week and with the squad every Saturday. Paige, from Halifax, is excited about the structure of the training made available this year: “The structure this year is a lot better. We have a nutritionist and he is going to help us do conditioning training, train in the gym as well as go through nutrition, and the supplements we need. He is also going to introduce us to rugby base movements in the gym to improve our strength to make sure we don’t injure ourselves.”

By playing for England Students the girls are already one step closer to playing for England Women. This summer they will be touring in France again; they are due to play against Bordeaux’s first and second team and in the autumn they are due to play against combined services and Great Britain Teachers in the South of England.

Both girls have been playing since they were young. Sophie started playing Rugby in the under 8s after seeing her brothers play: “I have 3 brothers, after seeing them play it made me really want to play. All my coaches used to say I am better than all the lads which made me want to carry on playing with girls."

I just love the sport and the contact and it helps get your aggression out when you are in a bad mood and playing makes you happier. I used to play for Ovenden Rugby Club when I was younger, but had to stop because of work. I received a letter from the College this year and just decided to go to the trials and I got through! For me it is about having fun and I want to get better and learn more about the game," continued Sophie.

After seeing her sister play Paige started in the under 12s: “I saw my sister play for the Halifax Vandals RUFC which made me want to pick this sport up. The fact that I am representing and playing for England students is an achievement in itself. I like the fact that I have gone from being an amateur to hopefully being on the right track to being professional. I have started training hard in the gym - I do weights and lifts to get myself conditioned and I am constantly pushing myself to work as hard as I can to hopefully qualify for England Women. I really love it and the social aspect is awesome. The people are so easy to get on with and you gain lifelong friends from it.”

Paige certainly knows what she wants in life and has clear pathway marked out: “I am going to Liverpool Hope University this next year to study Sports and Exercise Science which has a nutrition module. I think because I train in the gym, am passionate about what I do and have an interest in nutrition it has helped my career choice and it has also helped me find time to do it and I love doing it. I will always stay conditioned and train hard and I feel that playing a sport like rugby helps my career as I am constantly learning different things from different professionals. I am hoping to complete the 3 year degree course and then do a PGCE. I want to be a PE Teacher and would like to set up my own nutrition and exercise business.”

Sophie has high hopes of joining the Police Force after her studies: “I want to go into the Police Force which is why I am keeping myself fit and I want to play in the combined services. My pathway is different really because I do not want to go in to Sport, I want to keep it more as my hobby and go into the Police instead. I am interested in Public Services and the Police force and would like to study Policing at University. I am hoping to still play for England students while I am there, but play more for fun, but at a high level.”

Both girls are currently looking for sponsorship from local businesses to fund their expenses. If you are interested, please contact 01422 357 357 (605).

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