Celtic’s women’s rugby team is training up a storm on social media, to keep spirits and fitness levels up ahead of what coach Nick McKain hopes will be a cracker season.
With two imports from the town of Kendal, in Cumbria in the United Kingdom, the women’s side was showing promise and had been training hard ahead of a planned season start in April.
Covid-19 means the start of their season, like all sports, is on hold.
Nick says players were training in their own bubbles and itching to get back to contact and group sessions once restrictions were eased.
He says the players had been keeping connected through social media; the posts were fun and fitness-oriented.
The team had managed a few full trainings before the alert level 4 restrictions kicked in.
The English players were flatting separately with other members of the rugby community, he said. They had been working and adjusting to Kiwi life prior to the lockdown and planned to stay two years.
Nick said it was still possible to salvage a rugby competition if restrictions were lifted.
The Celtic side will play in a Christchurch league, with some home games, and local coaches said the side had a good spread of talent and ability.
While last year was a learning curve, this year the squad had good numbers and contained athletes who had played rugby as well as those new to the sport.
The team had created a family atmosphere, where players’ children were welcomed and looked after, removing any barriers to training and game-time.
“I am a little bit excited this year. The girls are a lot better than people were thinking,” he said.
“We have the opportunity to be a really good squad this year.”
The women’s team is well supported by the Celtic club, which had a rugby connection with Kendal for a decade.
Nick said the rugby community was hoping Covid-19 had created only a pause for the sport this season.