December 14, 2021, by Habbi Liton

What is Rugby Minds?

Rugby Minds is a campaign at the University of Nottingham aiming to better the player welfare and club culture within the men’s, women’s and IMS rugby clubs. This is a campaign run by students for the students!   

Who’s on the Committee? 

  • Rei Crookes is the Rugby Minds Ambassador and leads the committee
  • Chloe Vinestock is the Women’s Club Liaison 
  •  Cameron Furley is the Men’s 1st XV and Lead Men’s Club Liaison 
  • Abraham Turner is the Men’s 2nd and 3rd XV Liaison 
  • Seb Ashbridge is the Men’s 4th and 5th XV Liaison 
  • Ruby Owens and Max Brown are the Outreach Secretaries – Ruby has a focus on partnership building with organisations (e.g., RFU, BUCS), whereas Max has a focus on creating links with schools and local clubs 
  • Kieran Dunne is the Rugby Minds Treasurer 
  • James Cherry is the Rugby Minds General Secretary 
  • Marcus Briggs, Joseph Cantle and Samuel Mark are all Liaisons for two IMS teams each 

What are the Goals of the Rugby Mind Committee? 

After the first committee meeting, we quickly decided that the campaign will focus on 4 key goal areas – mental healthLGBTQ+ and InclusivityWomen’s Sport and Community Outreach. We’ve decided to give a bit more of breakdown of our goals below:  

Mental Health 

  • Accessibility of mental health, mental health surrounding sports injury, access to other community outreach programmes when injured. More player feedback with training, workloads etc. 

LGBTQ+ and Inclusivity 

  • Creating UoN Rugby wide campaigns that focus on LGBTQ+, anti-racism and disabilities 

Women’s Sport 

  • Working towards having Men’s and Women’s sport on the same platforms, working to create better relations between Men’s and Women’s teams, supporting women in matters which don’t directly relate to rugby, but affect all women. 

Community Outreach 

  • At the University, there are around 500 students playing rugby. We want to encourage players to be more involved in community rugby. Schools, local rugby clubs etc. Look towards sending groups of players to the wider community. 

What have we done so far? 

Rugby minds has recently held a series of talks with the men’s rugby club regarding consent and sexual harassment. This was done in light of the recent spiking epidemic in Nottingham and has been a major success. The men’s club took to the training brilliantly and engaged with members of the women’s club on hard hitting issues, broadening the players’ minds, and educating them.  

Some of the feedback we had from the male students included: 

“Learning stats and stories directly from women made it really sink in how common sexual harassment can be, and the effects it can have. Definitely became more aware of how I can be a better ally to women.” 

“It was very informative. It gave everyone an opportunity to voice their opinion and I feel everyone is now on the same page regarding sexual assault.” 

The success of this campaign has been such that there is now a motion being put to the SU to make it mandatory for all sports clubs to partake in consent and harassment conversations. 

What are we planning for the near future? 

Building on the back the successful talk shops, we want to keep the momentum going. As a committee, we already have plans for the next term and beyond. 

Some of these include: 

  • Filming an incredibly important interview between rugby players at the university who are part of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Holding a talk by a well-known rugby personality 
  • Interviewing rugby players who recently graduated or are still at the University, who have achieved incredible things in their rugby careers 
  • Putting a big focus towards mental health in sport (injury, Uni stress etc.) and women’s rights! 

We have a busy schedule ahead of next term; however, we really believe that Rugby Minds can work to better the player welfare and club culture within the rugby teams at the University of Nottingham. 

To find out more information about Rugby Minds or if you want help support the committee, please contact us.

Posted in Inclusive SportStudentsWelfare in Sport