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Meet the Committee 2017/18

October 1, 2017

Of course playing rugby is the biggest part of our club - but there's much more that goes on off the pitch! Most of this is managed by our Committee, who run all the extra behind the scene stuff. You can contact any of our committee at any time about anything you like, but here’s a brief outline of who each member is and what they do!




President: Sasha Ellis

Contact details:  T. 07539181991   

E. womensrugby@york.ac.uk   

E. ae744@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? Literally anything to do with the club.


In their words: “I deal with the day to day running of the club, including finances, grants, organising kit, coaching, pitches, fundraising, health & safety, leading the committee and in between all that playing rugby too as a Second Row. I play my position mainly because of my strength. Most of what I do on the pitch is defensive and set pieces - rucking, tackling, scrumming and line outs. I love rugby because it is competitive, aggressive and pushes me to my limits. Plus, it means I get to train with amazing, funny, inspiring women every day.”



Club Captain: Grace Towey

Contact details: T. 07794612474  E.grt505@york.ac.uk   E.  womensrugby@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? Again, anything to do with the club, but go to Grace first for any issues concerning training, coaching and matches. In command at 1st XV matches.


In their words: “I captain the 1st team on the pitch, but also help to lead training, make squad selections, help development of players and form a link between the coach and players of both teams to ensure everything runs smoothly as possible. I have fast feet, so I enjoy running or trying to step the defenders, being on the wing is fantastic for long runs, and at 9 I can dart through small gaps. I like that rugby requires a diverse range of skills, making it constantly challenging and interesting."



Club Vice-Captain: Daisy Yeomans

Contact details: E. dy657@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? Go to Daisy for any issues on match days/ at training if Grace is not available. Go to Daisy if you want feedback on your play. Second in command at 1st XV matches (or first if Grace is unable to play). Leads forwards.


In their words: "I help Grace out, providing any support she might need, and keeping an eye on the forwards for her. I also organise referees, match tees and kit collection. I play openside flanker as this position enables me to use my tackling skills and relative pace as a forward to be a key player in defence – I love contact! Playing rugby gives me an essential break in the day-to-day stresses of university, while keeping me fit, and the girls I’ve met have become my best friends!"



2nd XVI Captain: Alice Smallwood

Contact details: T. 07543126928  E. as2048@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? Any 2nd XV queries go to Alice. Training/ coaching/ match days etc. Go to Alice for larger club concerns regarding training and matches if neither Grace or Daisy are available. In command at 2nd XV matches.


In their words: "I work with the other captains and the coach to support the 2nds team both in matches and at training. I mainly play as a wing as I love running and occasionally can put on some speed, but I'm hoping to develop some new skills and move about in the backs. What I love most about rugby is being part of the team both on and off the pitch and the sense of achievement that comes with playing a sometimes very challenging and demanding sport."



2nd XVI Vice Captain: Suzanne Thorndyke

Contact details: E. skt512@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about?  If you would like feedback on your play as a second team player, go to Suzanne. If you have any concerns as a 2nd XV player and Alice is unavailable, contact Suzanne. Second in command at 2nd XV matches (or 1st if Alice is unable to play).


In their words: “I help Alice as required to provide support for the 2nds squad, as well as organising match teas (which of course is very important). I'm also around to provide feedback and help develop players, however am always on hand for anyone who has any questions, queries or concerns! As a player I am a keen decision-maker and relatively versatile, so often play different backs positions.  I love rugby because it is a fast-paced sport that enables you to pursue a real sense of adrenaline within a team framework.”



Secretary: Gráinne Daly


Contact details: E. gmd508@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? Anything you like. If you are uncomfortable going straight to the President contact Grainne.


In their words: "I'm the Secretary which means I'm the prez's right hand woman, I keep track of committee meetings and I can sign things. I generally play second row aka lock. I'm tall which is a good skill for a second row, I'm strong which means I'm pretty sick at crashing in and rucking (which is basically what being second row consists of). I love the social side of rugby: as an only child it's nice feeling like I have 40+ sisters, but I REALLY love the look of fear on the opposition's face when they realise I'm about to get them. Love that."



Treasurer: Alice Jones


Contact details: E. aj1004@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about?  Anything money related. Match fees. Memberships. If you are having financial issues contact Alice and she will be happy to help you out.


In their words: "I like my positions because I can try out new skills, you can always improve and the support from other players - it's a rewarding position. My main skills are my ability to work in a team, reflect and improve upon mistakes, my determination and endurance. I love rugby because it is inclusive, it's fun and makes me happy."



Press, Publicity & Alumni: Caitlin Burge

Contact details: E.  crb529@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? If you would like to write a blog post for our website, put a picture on our social media, or contribute to match reports.


In their words: “I'm the one to blame/thank for making up the hilarious hashtags for social media. I'm a blindside flanker - a position I was placed in by chance, but wouldn't give up for heaven or earth! I simply have a desire to smash into people. My main skills are in defence, but my stubbornness probably works best for me on the pitch - I'm not going on the floor unless I decide to. Can't pass to save my life though! What I love most about rugby is the inclusivity of the game - it's something for everyone."


Welfare & Equal Opportunities Officer: Hema Trivedi

Contact details: T. 07725553668 E. ht824@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about?  If you have wellbeing issues you would like to talk about privately. Hema is available to talk to you about any injury concerns or mental health issues you might have.


In their words: “My job is to offer support and improve welfare for our players. I play scrum half which means I have to have good communication and leadership skills. I love rugby because it seems like a fierce, rough sport but the girls are so caring.”



Fundraising & Sponsorship: Holly Shiels & Amy Curtin

Contact details:  Holly: E. hs1212@york.ac.uk  Amy: E. alc578@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? If you would like to be involved in our volunteering or fundraising, or if you have any sponsorship opportunities.


In their words: Holly – “I'm involved in raising money for the team and coordinating charity events. This year I'm coming back from injury and will be moving to the backs. Having watched from the sideline for a year I've improved my knowledge of the game and my individual skills like passing. I love playing in a team where there is a position for everyone.”


Amy – “Along with Holly, I coordinate the charity work that UYWRUFC does in the local community, such as with our partner charity IDAS raising awareness of domestic abuse. We also hunt for sponsors for the club so we can afford new fancy equipment & #stash. I’m a second year Chemistry student and spend most of my time on the wing letting the centres make me look good.”






Kit & Merchandise: Ella Banken

Contact Details: E. ecb538@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about? If you have any queries about kit or merchandise, for both personal and club purposes.


In their words: "I take care of ordering the necessary supplies and training equipment for the club. I generally play as a second row, although my love for tackling and desire to be everywhere on the pitch at once mean I enjoy playing other forward positions as well. When playing rugby, I think what I love the most is the fact that everything else becomes irrelevant and forgotten for a while and the game takes over completely- it's a fantastic feeling."



Social Secs: Jenny Provan, Issie Cowan & Abi Bayram.

Contact details:  Jen: T. 07572085865  E. jkp511@york.ac.uk  Issie: T. 07769271891  E. ic664@york.ac.uk Abi: T. 07538490032 E. ab1914@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about?  Anything social related. If you have an idea for an event we could hold, or activity we could do as a club! Wednesday nights.


In their words: Jen – “We organise the fun stuff off the pitch like team meals out, club nights and other jolly japes. In my experience, the social events were one of the best ways of team bonding. I play second row - because of my height (taller than the average lady) Second row players are generally the driving force in scrums and on the pitch. Rugby is perfect blend of roughness and grace and it has helped me push myself to my physical limits.”


Issie – “we run all our social events like Wednesday nights, Christmas and end of term meals. I played inside centre last year but Ian likes to swap me sometimes. I am fast and don't mind doing a lot of crash balls. I love how social our club is and that it doesn't have to be competitive it’s about having fun and trying your best, but winning is also very fun.”


Abi – “We make sure everyone has fun! I’m a prop so I need to be strong to stabilise the scrums and lineouts. I love the feeling of making an important tackle or a big carry because you know you’re helping your team out. Even when you make mistakes, you’ve

still got their support.”




Tour Secs: Gabby Pryzgodski & Willow Ingleton

 Contact details: Gabby: E. gpe501@york.ac.uk Willow: E. wi513@york.ac.uk


What should I contact them about?  Tour.


In their words: Gabby – “I organise your holiday so be nice!! I've been playing for over ten years, and have been trained as a prop and an eight as well. I know and understand the rules more than I know myself which is beneficial while being on the pitch or shouting from the sidelines. The game is a huge part of my life and I cannot imagine life without it.”


Willow – “I'm organising tour this year to Lisbon and its gonna be lit, guaranteed. Playing as a hooker or a flanker means I have to have a general disregard for my welfare as I'm usually in the thick of the action. I love rugby for the sheer madness of it and the great sense of family the club provides.”





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