#UoBWomen: Mimi's game-changing journey with UoB's Women's Rugby

Hey everyone! I’m Mimi, I’m studying for a BA in Modern Languages, and today, I want to chat with you about International Women’s Day. 


Since 1911, the UK has been celebrating International Women's Day annually. It's a day that allows us to pay tribute to the trailblazing activists who are tirelessly working to make the world more equal. It's also a time to celebrate and uplift the achievements of all women, past and present, everywhere.

For me, I like to use this day to recognise all the incredible people who support and empower me, encouraging me to be more confident in myself and my abilities. In particular, I’ll be talking about my journey in joining the Women's Rugby Union Club at UoB. 

How rugby has boosted my self-confidence  

When I first joined UoB, I decided to try something completely new. While I've always had a lifelong love for sports, both on and off the field, I found myself immediately drawn to rugby. There are so many different positions on the pitch with each having their own strengths so it’s really a game for everyone. Joining the Women’s Rugby Union Club at UoB felt like finding a supportive family. They were so welcoming and friendly! Rugby is definitely very intimidating at first, but being surrounded by such a reassuring group, encouraged me to keep coming back and helped me grow my confidence and refine my skills. 

Mimi rugby

Women’s Rugby Union has been incredibly successful at Birmingham, with two strong teams that play in the North Prem and Midlands 1A BUCS Leagues. Everyone has different experiences with rugby; a large part of the girls are newcomers like me, but other seasoned players have been doing it all of their lives. Some have even had the opportunity to play for teams in the English Premiership! It feels amazing to be a part of this group.

Each day, I feel so much more empowered to push myself out of my comfort zone and work on improving myself, both physically and mentally.

Reflecting on the success of women's rugby

The outstanding achievements of the Women's Rugby Union at UoB reflect a wider trend across the UK. Following the triumph of the England team, known as the ‘Red Roses’, with their seventeen Six Nations Grand Slams, securing second place at the Rugby World Cup in 2021, and their record-breaking unbeaten streak of thirty games between November 2019 and November 2022, the game has never been more popular.  

Despite the national and international success, players – including myself – still face prejudice and dismissal. Unfortunately, funding and support remain challenges at all levels of the game, often forcing top-level female athletes to juggle full-time jobs or studies alongside rigorous training. We’re also often not taken seriously with questions surrounding our ability to play, and have had to fight to be provided with the same respect and treatment as our male counterparts, making us feel like more of an afterthought. Even having to describe our sport as ‘Women’s Rugby’ immediately separates us from the men who just play ‘Rugby’. 

Despite these challenges, we're committed to fighting for equality and recognition, pushing for the same respect and opportunities that male rugby players have.

Looking forward to the future of women’s sport...

Here's some exciting news! England is set to host the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in 2024, with matches being held all over the country. This is a really exciting time for the growth of the sport internationally, and we have the fantastic opportunity to watch it all unfold. I believe that we need to show our support for women’s sport in general, not only rugby, through engaging with, and watching these games. Whether that’s online or in person, let's help progress the sport and show that there’s an opportunity for the Government and companies to invest in the game.

 mimi iwd

Join the celebration this International Women’s Month by exploring our line-up of exciting events! Take a browse and get involved.


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