Niamh’s Story

Rugby Academy
Rugby Player, Coach, Future Physiotherapists

Being part of the Rugby Academy has given me opportunities I would never have considered.

  • Qualifications (coaching, refereeing, first aid)
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Employment
  • Life skills
  • Shadowing – helped me stand out with my university application

I have gained qualifications and experiences that other applicants wouldn’t have had which will help my CV and application to stand out. Through rugby and the Trust, I have had the opportunity to do some work experience with Angus Physiotherapy in preparation for applying to University. I have been given the opportunity to make friends, play for other teams and put me on a pathway to play for Scotland Women if I work hard enough.  The Trust was looking for volunteers to help with the Autism Friendly rugby sessions when they first started in 2019 and I was really excited to help with that.

How long have you played rugby?

I played mini rugby for Brechin Pirates when I was little but hadn’t played since then.  I then got involved with the Rugby Academy in September 2018.

The Academy is the reason I started playing rugby 2 years ago and it has helped me develop my skills both on and off the pitch, and build my own confidence.  Being part of the Trust has given me loads of opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had.  I have also made friends from different schools that I never would have met if it wasn’t for the Academy.

What do you like most about rugby?

Rugby Academy – I like that girls and boys combine – we play together.  We are treated as equals and I feel part of something.  I like that you feel accepted.

Rugby in general – allows you to shut yourself off from everything else, it allows you to be in the moment.   You feel part of this big family, everyone is your friend, you trust everyone.

How does playing rugby benefit you?

Rugby has made me a lot more confident in myself.  It has introduced me to new friends who I wouldn’t have met. I feel happy when I am playing rugby.  I love to go to training.

I am always excited for games – you feel like you have achieved something after a game.  Most of all it has really grown my confidence in my own abilities.

What is your best rugby memory?

My favourite rugby memory is making it to the semi-finals of the National cup.  It’s my favourite memory because I loved the feeling of achievement and the amazing atmosphere in our team, especially the excitement after winning the quarter finals because it was a really hard game.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying rugby?

Everyone has been a beginner at some point and everyone is accepting of that.  There is always someone to help you.  You are not made to do anything that’s too much for your abilities.   They build you up to doing something, tackling for example.

No one is judging, everyone makes mistakes, it’s not as intimidating as it may seem.