Name: Rachel King
Occupation: English and Sport Science Student at Loughborough University, Youth Offending Service Mentor and Swimming Teacher/Lifeguard.
Playing History: The first time I played rugby was during my first year at college, age 17. Bristol Academy were entering a girls’ team into Rosslyn Park 7s tournament for the first time in the college’s history to see if there was an appetite for girls Rugby in the area. I had never played full 15s rugby before coming to University. Previously a netball player, I was convinced into playing in December 2014 by the fresher representative and second team coach (Maria Crowfoot and Scarlett Cooper-Wall) and since playing my first game I haven’t been able to stop! Throughout my first season of Rugby, I played for the University 2nd team and made my 1st team debut against Durham in March. I was also given the opportunity to play for Loughborough Ladies who play in the Championship and Leicestershire County representative team. Now in my second year (first full season) I continue to play for the University 1st XV and Loughborough Ladies with my goal being to play in the Premiership in the future.
Involvement In Rugby: I am currently the Recruitment and Development Officer for Loughborough Ladies RFC, working to recruit new players and promote the club in a professional manor with emphasis on our visions and morals. My role also includes finding and advertising development opportunities for current players and also attending the Leicestershire Women’s And Girls forum to work with other clubs within the county to develop women’s rugby.
As Sports Secretary for Telford Hall at the University I have been involved in coaching my halls touch rugby team, I have also been involved in some of the refereeing of the IMS matches. Both opportunities have allowed me to develop and gain a greater understanding of Touch Rugby, which I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced if I hadn’t been volunteering.
I have recently completed The Rugby Ready Scrum Factory Workshop with the hope of being able to gain a coaching qualification in 2016.
Earlier on this year I was given tickets to go and watch England vs. France at Twickenham in the warm up games for the World Cup. It was such a fantastic experience as the atmosphere at Twickenham was incredible after England beat France 19-14.
What Do I Want To Get Out Of The Project: I got involved in the Spirit of Rugby Project because it was such a unique opportunity to be able to create and run our own project over the two years. I have a lot of experience in volunteering and having recently discovered my passion for Rugby so I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of.
My personal interest lies in working with young people, especially disadvantaged and disengaged youth such as young offenders. Of particular interest to me is how sport can be used as a tool for engagement, focus and rehabilitation. In the future I would like to work with prisoners and young offenders, using a combination of education and sport as a means to prevent reoffending.
My interests also include women and girls participation in sport. I hope that by working on this project we will be able to promote women’s rugby and create some unique campaigns to specifically engage girls in rugby so that they have as positive experience as I have, but throughout their whole lives.