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Bringing people together

Elis Martin
Front Row, Edinburgh
3rd year Applied Sport Science

Elis Martin took up Rugby at 16 and has now represented her country (for 7’s rugby) U19 level. She is a firm believer in the ability of sport to bring people from different backgrounds together.

Anyone can thrive

“I started playing rugby when I was about 16, the year before I came to Uni. Beforehand I had played basketball, netball and tried track but it was rugby that I fell in love with. It’s a sport where anyone can thrive if you have the right attitude and drive to succeed.

There are girls of all backgrounds, heights, weights and abilities at our club and it really makes you want to get more people involved to be able to experience the same environment. “

An International Sport

Elis has just returned from a summer playing rugby in Edmonton in Canada.

“The striking thing about the experience is the similarities between our seemingly polar-opposite clubs. In Canada, I was playing for a lower division club that sadly didn’t make it into the play-off rounds in the season and in Edinburgh I play for Edinburgh Uni Ladies 1XV, the team that won the premier league last season and have international athletes on the team sheet.

Despite seeming so different, the attitudes and diversity in the team were the same.

Firstly, they were a welcoming family. Despite me being completely new, each member of the team welcomed me and made me feel at home. The exact same experience as in first year with EULRFC.

Secondly, they all genuinely and wholeheartedly cared about the squad, people turned up for training and brought intensity, they communicated issues and praise for their team mates and pushed the boundaries of what the team was capable of.

Lastly, the team loved the game! People spend their weekends taken up by playing and watching rugby, they spent 2 days training during the week that they could have spent elsewhere. They came home from work early to make sure they were on time all for rugby; they volunteered at countless events and spent numerous hours cleaning the clubhouse and equipment (the same as we do at Edinburgh).”

Making everyone stronger

“My trip proved to me that rugby brings people together and makes you a stronger, more driven individual. It allows you to meet friends you would never met. Rugby pushes the boundaries of what we can do to support one another as athletes and individuals. My trip has proved to me that teams all over the world are pushing to be better and put women’s rugby the spotlight, where it belongs”

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