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Issue:- Thursday, 11 August 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 9.

Women and Girls in Liverpool get top tips from Rugby World Cup winner

WOMEN and girls in Liverpool found themselves trying out something new, on Thursday, 11 August 2016, at Liverpool ONE with England Rugby World Cup winner and RFU Spirit of Rugby ambassador Maggie Alphonsi.

At a massively exciting time for womenís rugby, with Rugby Sevens making its Olympic Games debut in Rio at the weekend, growth in the game at an all time high and for the first time ever professional contracts being awarded to Englandís XVs players, Alphonsi was in Town to showcase the best in the game and encourage more women and girls to give rugby a try.

The excited participants got to take on the former England international in an inflatable passing cage, a throwing tower, a kicking cage and the gauntlet run as well as learn some top tips from one of the sportís best.

ďIíve had a fantastic day. It has been terrific to see so many women and girls trying out rugby, and giving something new a go! Womenís rugby is a game like no other and I hope today that I have helped show people what fun this sport can be. Whatís more, with Sevens being played in the Olympics for the first time we are exposing the sport to a huge audience and I am sure the GB womenís team will have inspired more players to give rugby a go across the country. Rugby has certainly had a massively positive impact on my life and I want to see other people benefit from the sport too.Ē said Alphonsi.

Alphonsi was supporting the event as a Spirit of Rugby ambassador. Spirit of Rugby is a nationwide project funded by the Spirit of 2012 and it aims to ensure the spirit that radiated from London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is felt across the UK.

The projects are uniquely led and devised by 16 to 24 year olds, with the aim of increasing participation through new and innovative events, which engage groups not traditionally involved in rugby.

In Liverpool, the Spirit of Rugby group has been focusing on increasing the awareness of rugby in a football dominated area, and getting more people involved in the game, be it students, coaches and volunteers.

Waterloo RFC event volunteer, Keisha Hendricks, said:- "This has been a brilliant day. It has been great to see so many women and girls from the area come down and give rugby a go. It has been nice to see a real focus on womenís sport and womenís rugby and I know this event is going to have an impact on rugby in this area. I am looking forward to seeing some new faces coming down to our clubs. Itís also been fantastic having a real rugby hero in Maggie Alphonsi attending. She has really enthused everyone who has turned up, even though it is raining, and shown people what is great about our game, whether youíre small or big, and from any background."

For more information about womenís rugby and how to get involved, visit:- FindRugby.com.

For more information on the Spirit of Rugby projects taking place across England, click on here.

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