The Park Panthers are Wirral’s first ever women’s rugby team WIRRAL’S first-ever women’s rugby team is having a ball!
Around 40 players are hitting the pitch twice a week to improve their fitness and technique to take on other established clubs from around the country.
And although the Park Panthers club is only two months old, the team spirit is high and the women aged 18 upwards are getting ready to climb the league table.
Club leader Jess Whitehead decided to start the women’s rugby team in Wirral after coming home from Liverpool University and realising that there was nowhere she could play her favourite sport.
She said: “I’ve played rugby most of my life in Calday Grange Grammar School’s Under 18s and then in university.
“I wanted to carry on training and realised the nearest club is an hour’s drive away.”
The 21-year-old from Heswall approached Birkenhead Park football club, who she is now affiliated with, put up posters to attract players and joined forces with Sam Hillas, of Birkenhead, who helped her set everything up.
Jess said: “I have had amazing support from the Birkenhead Park and the amount of interest I’ve had in the rugby team has been incredible.
“There’s so much netball and women’s football around but women’s rugby never seemed to be given the same attention – which is such a shame because it’s such a good game.”
She added: “You don’t have to be big and butch to play either, that’s just a stereotype.
“In reality anyone can play.
“It’s really laid back and is just a laugh, plus you get a really good all-over body workout because you end up using all your muscles when you scrum, tackle, run and catch.
“I say, it doesn’t matter how old you are, if your body still allows you to do it and you want to play then you should come and join us.”
The Park Panthers train Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings at Birkenhead Park.For more information call 07789637839 or 07710512867.
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