The next wave of England Rugby’s Inner Warrior campaign has launched, after a successful series of Warrior Camps in 2017 and January 2018 gave a huge boost to grassroots women’s rugby participation.
The April wave of Warrior Camps kicks off on 13th April and will run until 29th April with 100 rugby taster sessions taking place at clubs across the country.
The campaign phase coincides with the rugby sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games, where women will take part for the first time ever. Having announced earlier this month that there are now 30,000 registered female rugby players playing regularly, the Inner Warrior campaign is encouraging new women to get active outdoors this spring and challenge themselves to take up a new sport.
Since its initial launch, the England Rugby has reported that over 12,500 women have attended Warrior Camps nationwide; and of those women, 4,200 had never picked up a rugby ball before. The number of camps available to women has continued to grow to meet demand and the influx of players saw 41 new female contact rugby club teams established in 2017.
The Inner Warrior campaign aims to encourage more women and girls to play contact rugby, teaching participant’s key introductory skills and drills for rugby within a non-committal, social and fun environment.
The April Warrior Camps launched with a digital campaign and continuation of the 2017 brand creative that shows everyday women from various walks of life, bursting out of their work ‘uniforms’ into their rugby training kit, metaphorically freeing their inner warrior.
England Sevens captain Abbie Brown commented: “We’re excited about the opportunity to play at the Commonwealth Games for the first time and will be looking to make the country proud. The Inner Warrior campaign gives women the chance to try rugby, often for the first time, and it’s fantastic to see so many women getting involved – we hope our performances in Australia can inspire more to get outdoors and try our sport.”
Steve Grainger, RFU rugby development director, said: “Female participation in rugby has seen unparalleled levels of growth in recent years, and we were delighted to announce on International Women’s Day that there are now 30,000 women and girls playing regularly. Rugby is one of the fastest growing team sports for women in England.”
“As part of the 2017-21 funding agreement with Sport England and our Women and Girls’ Action Plan, the RFU is looking to significantly expand the number of women and girls participating in grassroots rugby across England, and the Warrior Camps are instrumental in supporting this growth.”