From novice to Roses team – Becky’s story

Date: 18 May 2017

Becky Ingham tells us of her experiences of an enjoyable first year of rugby at Hoppers:

“In November of last year, I joined Preston Grasshoppers in the hope of playing rugby for the senior ladies side. Having played hockey successfully at Kirkham Grammar, County and North of England I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself through rugby, a game I had never played before.

The first sessions were tough but I enjoyed them and found myself becoming more and more addicted to the pace and physicality of the game. As I progressed through the basics of handling, passing, tackling and evasive footwork, the Senior Coach at Hoppers, Steve Tiernan began to tell me how impressed he was with what he was seeing in training and gave me my first start on the wing just before the end of the year. A position he said, ‘You will learn your trade from’ – and I certainly did.

Starting out, the tackles that started to come in on me proved difficult to accept at first as lots of them were probably not as low as they should have been. By rights, I should have been decapitated given the ferocity of some of them. Nevertheless, I didn’t come into this sport with that level of naivety, I knew from watching the sport at my old school, Kirkham Grammar, it was a challenge I needed to face. With Steve’s experience working with the Senior Men’s squad and the Sale Sharks Youth set-up, he gave me the confidence and guidance to develop and keep at it.

More starts came and then my first try which seemed to open up the floodgates as my team mates started to really believe in me so the opportunities to score came thick and fast (and so did the tackles!). By February I felt I was certainly getting to grips with my trade (as Steve was telling me) when he then mentioned that a County Trial for the Lancashire Senior Ladies Squad would not be out of the question in March. If this was his way of motivating me further, it worked. I never trained so hard. Whatever the weather, I trained and when the trials came around in March, I was told to go and ‘give it your best shot’. To my amazement I was asked to come back for a second trial, when the established players enter the selection process.

You know what? I got selected for the squad after the second trial! I played my first game for Lancashire County in April, wearing the Red Rose with pride. Despite my only expectation being to play rugby for Preston Grasshoppers, I got the opportunity to represent my County. This was achieved through hard work and determination (plus lots of bruises) and not forgetting the coaching staff and all my team mates who helped me progress to this level.

I really can’t wait for next season to start! – Come on Hoppers!”

Congratulations to Becky who has come such along way in just one season earning Hoppers Ladies Coaches player of the year award and being selected for Lancashire. Becky was selected for Lancashire alongside fellow Hoppers Michelle Christy and Emily Stirzaker, Emily having the honour to Captain Lancashire Senior Ladies this season too.

If you know any ladies or girls aged 11+ that want to try rugby, Hoppers are hosting an RFU ‘Inner Warrior’ Camp on the 20th May 2017, this is a great opportunity for newcomers or returning players of all shapes and sizes to take part in the fastest growing sport in the country, through fun and informal sessions.

So get down to Hoppers on the 20th May at 12:30, have fun and meet your ‘Inner Warrior’.

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