Red Roses’ prop, Hannah Botterman, encourages women to sign up to free rugby fitness sessions

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Hannah Botterman
Hannah was part of the England team that beat Italy 60-3 at Goldington Road

Throughout January, Bedford Athletic RFC is running England Rugby Warrior Camps for women to build their fitness and confidence at free sessions.

For the first time, Warrior Camps will be taking place over four to five consecutive weekends, building real momentum in your fitness regime whist getting to grips with the basics of rugby.

And all you will need to take part are a pair of trainers, your usual workout gear and a ‘have a go’ attitude…

England Rugby’s Hannah Botterman, part of the team that beat Italy 60-3 at the Bedford Blues’ Goldington Road ground last November, spoke to the Bedford Independent about Warrior Camps and why rugby is a great sport for anyone.

“I first played rugby when I was four or five,” said Hannah. “My mum and dad both played [Hannah’s uncle and aunt were both England internationals] and I’ve been surrounded by rugby all my life. It was my destiny.

“The Warrior Sessions are for anyone and everyone, no matter how big or small, fast or slow you are – there’s a rugby position for you.  The camps encourage anyone to come along and have a go. It’s a fantastic initiative and is really raising the profile of women’s rugby.”

Hannah celebrates at Goldington Road

Playing prop, Hannah has a contract with Saracens and has been called up for the Red Roses for the 2019/20 season. We asked her about her experience as part of the England team that beat Italy at Goldington Road in November.

“The ground is well known for its slope, so there were certain tactics we took into the game with that in mind,” she said.

“Bedford’s close to my hometown of Stevenage so it was great to play somewhere fairly local. It’s brilliant to get people more involved in women’s rugby – both as players and fans – and the Warrior Camps help raise that awareness.

“It’s also great to have women’s players that younger girls can look up to. When I was a young player, I didn’t have any role models to aspire to.

“There might be a 12-year-old prop who looks at me and is inspired to follow a career in rugby.”

Hoping to be selected for Red Roses’ Six Nations team, Hannah is looking forward to performing on the international stage.

“The England team will be playing against France in a few weeks time and it’s a massive game. Whoever wins, will most likely win the tournament. It’ll be a tough match and I’d love to be part of it.”

If you’d like to take part in the free Warrior Sessions, they start this Saturday until 8 February from 10am – 11am at Bedford Athletic RFC, Putnoe Wood, Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK41 8QA.

Don’t worry if you can’t join the first session, the sessions are designed so that you can join at any time throughout the series.

Beds Ath RFC Warrior Camps
Everyone’s welcome at the Warrior Camps – no rugby knowledge necessary!

Sarah Hunter, England Red Rose Captain said, “It can often be daunting to try a new sport or get the motivation needed to go along to the gym for the first time.

“That’s why Warrior Camps are the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself and as a result, you can have fun and get fit all at the same time. Warm up activities, learning passing, catching skills, and fitness drills are combined to create these unique and exciting sessions.

“Bringing a friend with you can also help with the nerves but don’t worry if not, you’ll still meet plenty of great ladies at the sessions. I’ve made friends for life!”

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director at the RFU said, “2019 was a great year for women’s rugby with the Red Roses winning the Six Nations Grand Slam and continuing their winning streak at the Quilter Internationals this autumn.

“We welcome anyone interested to head down to their local Warrior Camp this January to enjoy a rugby taster session in a fun and welcoming environment”.

If you feel inspired to give rugby a try this New Year, click here to book a place at your local Warrior Camp.


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