Hi Ladies and Gents, Girls and Guys, welcome to my first Blog for FindRugbyNow! I now know what you’re all thinking because I was thinking it too: “What an awesome site – where has it been my whole life?!”
FRN is a fantastic resource for players, coaches, clubs, and fans alike. I’m a firm believer that knowledge sharing is vital to the growth of sport, health and fitness. To make my point, here’s a favourite little quote of mine, courtesy of the poet, Roy Croft:
“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”
Pretty apt really and I will certainly do my best to share my knowledge and experiences with you!
When I first started playing rugby at the grand old age of 7, 15 years ago, I didn’t even know England had a Women’s team. Shocking isn’t it! All I knew is that I loved the game and wanted to play no matter what. It wasn’t until I was 15, when I was thrust forward into County trials that I understood there was more to the game then just mud and bruised knees. I actually had a chance at becoming an elite athlete, in the sport I loved.
Rugby Development Trials such as County trails are essential for the filtration of new players into a pathway for International Duty. I certainly wouldn’t be in the position I am now without them. My first memory of a high level trial coincides with the first time I met Maggie Alphonsi – she was giving a great motivational speech at a Talent Development Camp. She was giving us lots of encouragement to be the best and to make the most of these trials so one day we could be her teammate. It was a fantastic talk, but I was just sat there, 16 and scrawny, terrified at the prospect of one day being tackled by Maggie ‘The Machine’ Alphonsi. Cripes!
So how did I get over being that scrawny 16-year-old quivering in front of Maggie? Well I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy. Although I’ve always had a huge interest in health and fitness, getting strong in the gym was harder than I thought. I soon realised it might take a little more than natural skill and ability to get myself noticed by Talent ID. I was by far the smallest player on any team. I learnt size doesn’t always matter, but it helps. So I spent the next few years trying to grow as an Individual and in SIZE!
After a lot of hard work, early mornings and sore muscles, I was granted my first Cap when I was 18. I learned as much as possible about how to be the best I could be. I progressed as a player and now at 22 years old I have 22 Caps under my belt. And now I could put up a pretty good fight against Maggie! Everything was going well.
There was one blip in my rugby career to date though, which has put me out of action for two seasons now. This was during the World Cup 2010 Semi-Final against Australia. It was such a fantastic tournament to be involved in and the girls did fantastically well in winning our Silver Medal. Unfortunately, this has meant that I haven’t played a single game since then. I suffered what is called a ‘lateral condyle lesion and meniscus tear’ of my left knee. In normal people speak, this means I had a mini-fracture on the outside of my knee-joint. Ouch!!
Since I suffered the injury I have been going through lots of fun Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy and making sure I stay strong. I’m certainly on the mend so watch out! My enthusiasm for sport, health and fitness continues in my professional life working as a Personal Trainer for The Foundry in Liverpool Street, London where I get great satisfaction in helping others achieve their fitness goals. Go to www.foundryfit.co.uk for more info.
Enough about me…This Blog is for you – to use and share as you please. As with all the other great articles here on FindRugbyNow. I plan to share my knowledge and experience of both rugby and health and fitness in the hope I can inspire, guide, and teach all you rugby fanatics.
I’m happy to dedicate a whole blog piece to a topic of your choice so get emailing NOW with your questions.
Stay Tuned and Be Strong!
To see Fiona in action before her injury, watch this video: