For some, the joy of Rugby League is the speed and action, with bone-crunching collisions from the forwards and high-flying tries scored by the backs. For others, it is the camaraderie and togetherness that comes from working as a team and achieving a common goal.
For the ladies down at the Mary Seacole Centre in Bradford, it’s probably the latter that excites them more. They’ve been participating in a Walking Rugby group for a few months now, with Bulls Foundation coach Andy Harland going into the nursing home to show them the ropes.
The women are between 74 & 89 years of age and are predominantly of a Caribbean background and 12 to 18 turn up regularly for the session, which are designed to be as fun as possible.
Walking rugby is a variant of rugby league that focuses on catching and passing the ball with no running whatsoever, making it accessible for people of all ages. They’re no slouches either – sometimes they go 300 or 400 passes without a single dropped ball! If only the Bulls first team could boast such a record…
Carol Clarke, aged 83, said “I have really enjoyed the sessions, they allow me to get more focused on the skills needed. I feel stronger, more confident and happy, I enjoy the passing and catching in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.”
Ivy Roberts, 89, told us that the sessions helped to keep her wrist and shoulder joints flexible, as well as developing her concentration and teamwork.
Andy and the Bulls Foundation team started with 10 sessions and the women asked for them to come back for more – now they are up to around 30.
As the cliche has it: “If you’re old enough, you’re good enough”. Maybe Geoff Toovey might be giving the Mary Seacole Centre a call…
Here are a few photos of the ladies in action: