The Women’s Rugby team braved the drenching rain to complete the Asda 10k Charity run, to raise funds for a local cancer charity that’s aided family members of the team.
The charity, Cavendish Cancer Care, provided therapy for team coach David Dean when his wife was diagnosed with cancer as well as for player Maeve Morrissey when the same disease struck her mum.
As such, the charity was a clear choice for the team to fundraise for.
Captain of the Women’s Rugby team, Jennifer Selim, said: “As the charity has provided support to key members of our club, it naturally felt right that we did a charity event to raise money for Cavendish for their amazing work, and as a sign of support from the club to Maeve and Deano.”
“We had an opportunity to look around the facilities and it really brought home the impact of the work they do, and we felt the value of the therapies they offer.
“It’s an amazing place and it’s very welcoming.”
At the run itself, the team had to put up with torrential downpours but that didn’t put them off from finishing the stretch.
“All together there were twelve of us that ran with times ranging from 55 min to 1 hour 20 min. There were loads of personal bests that were beaten so it was a happy day all round.”
Several team members trained ahead of the run by running 5ks, carb-loading, and getting plenty of rest before the big day.
Despite the serious preparation and weather, Jennifer says that the team spirit remained high throughout.
“On the day everyone was pretty excited and the atmosphere was amazing so it made us push ourselves.
“Afterwards everyone was beaming and it was a great feeling to finish.
“The earlier ones were cheering the rest of us on and it was lovely to see some of our members who weren’t running supporting the team.”
Jennifer’s views on the day were echoed by fellow teammate Rebecca Kemball, who said: “I would be lying if I said the rain didn’t put a slight dampener on our mood before the run but despite that, while running, we all maintained high spirits and were determined not to let the rain stop us.
“I must admit, although I did bits of training here and there in the gym over summer I didn’t do anything too full on.
“However, prior to the race SULFRC had a pre-season week which enabled us to work on our fitness and get it vaguely up to scratch to complete the 10K confidently.
Rebecca added: “When the finish line seemed so far away, the fact that we were running for a great charity and for some truly great people made that pain feel that little bit smaller.
“For that reason, it is easy for me to say that it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done.
Additionally, the team recently hosted a development festival with other local women’s teams to help grow the confidence of new players and familiarise them with the game.
Jennifer said: “This development festival offers [new players] the chance to learn through intensive workshops which were run by players who have been in the exact same position as them.
“These clubs were very keen to be involved and even offered their own volunteers to help run the event.”
Even with events such as the development festival and rugby generally being on the rise, Jennifer believes more could be done to boost the women’s team.
“There has been a growth in women’s sports in the last few years. In terms of rugby, we are still behind the boys in terms of funding and publicity but that is due to many factors such as membership size and skill.
“It’s the little things that can help such as giving women a key performance time during varsity, Sport Sheffield funding coaches more, ensuring that accessibility to sport is made easy through funded transport.”