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Icons Award Winner 2021 - UPWRFC


Congratulations to the University of Plymouth Women's Rugby Football Club committee, who have been awarded their Icons Award for their efforts through an extremely difficult year.



The UPSU Icons Awards celebrate our Sports Clubs and Societies that have gone above and beyond throughout this year. There are certain criteria each group has to complete to win their award which is then approved by the UPSU Sports and Societies Teams. This year we have seen so many amazing things happen throughout our student community, including the efforts of UPWRFC.



Who are the Women's Rugby Club:     


"University of Plymouth Women's Rugby Football Club is a student-run rugby union team and proud holders of UPSU Gold Icons. Players of all abilities are welcomed to partake in competitive women's rugby and join us on weekly socials. We offer the opportunity to get fit, develop rugby skills and meet a great group of girls at university!


Please feel free to contact us on social media, via email or come and see us at our Freshers Fair stand to say hi!"


- University of Plymouth Women's Rugby Football Club


Committee Members behind the Club - 

  • Chair - Jocelyn Saxelby 
  • Treasurer - Destinee Hassan Bien & Millie Saunders
  • Safety Officer - Jessica Valentine
  • Secretary - Felicity Grazebrook &  Nadia Tarkowska




Women's Rugby Club Successes:



The University of Plymouth Women's Rugby Football Club has gone from milestone to milestone this year and gained their Icons Award for their efforts. 

They have reviewed, completed and signed off all documentation required by the Sports Department here at UPSU and updated their club webpage on the SU website. They have attended every Sports Forum throughout the year and held a successful Annual General Meeting (AGM) to vote in the new committee while complying with all UPSU policies and procedures. The clubs’ core committee has attended all compulsory committee training via Zoom and kept in consistent contact with the SU Activities Coordinators, registering all trips, tours and events with them, alongside demonstrating effective financial management, ending their year in a good financial position.


The club has been in regular communication with various SU representatives throughout the year to ensure the smooth running of the club and staying within SU policies and government Covid guidance. They have hosted fortnightly online socials and events, around lockdowns and exams, such as pub quizzes, virtual escape rooms, fun games nights and even the odd virtual yoga session, alongside producing successful social media campaigns like, ‘Meet the Committee’ posts and fitness challenges that pitted club members against the committee while utilising their Witness to Fitness page for informal engagement and supporting individual fitness development.

UPWRFC has hosted various fundraising events throughout the year including Sober for October, a virtual Bake Off competition with other sports clubs and societies, a 300km Walk Challenge and a virtual quiz, raising almost £300 for The Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust. 



A post shared by UPWRFC (@upwrfc1)


The committee has kept in regular contact with their members, including Well-being Advocates regularly posting to touch base and raise morale, updates from the captain on training logistics membership updates and general rugby information through their social media channels, and on the 28th of September, the club organised a Virtual Welcome session through Zoom to introduce the committee and the club to potential new members with updates on their plans for the year ahead and what to expect from the club itself. They also supported the Students’ Union Elections with regular information posts and encouraging over a third of their members to vote for who they want to represent them within the Students’ Union and University. 


And last but not least, the club has completed the additional criteria needed for their Icons Award by upskilling their committee and members, even with difficulties with Covid 19 the club has worked hard by focusing on a safe return to rugby and providing opportunities to complete e-learning from the RFU to encourage the safe return to contact gameplay for the last few matches of their season.

They have supported The National Marine Aquarium amid the financial effects of the Covid pandemic, working with the Men's Rugby Club for the Union-wide campaign to promote as well as design a t-shirt. Lots of the clubs' members have purchased these t-shirts and regularly train in them, all to help support the wildlife at the aquarium during the pandemic.



A post shared by UPWRFC (@upwrfc1)


The club has supported the SU Give It A Go Sessions by hosting their own session on the 21st of April to support the return to rugby following the end of lockdown 3.0, with the help of SU representatives, the session received lots of positive feedback including some students returning to training for the rest of the season.

The University of Plymouth Women's Rugby Football Club has shown a passion for its members and the longevity of their club through a global pandemic, giving members a strong stable and safe environment to support them, exactly what they need during a difficult time for all students. We are proud to present this Icons Award to UPWRFC, congratulations! 




Congratulations from all of us here at UPSU!

The University of Plymouth Women's Rugby Football Club has been awarded their Icons for all the amazing work they have done over this year voluntarily and on top of their own studies, this couldn't be more deserved and we can wait to see what you bring to the Students' Union next year! 





Stay tuned and keep an eye on our social media channels over the coming weeks to read a profile of each student group that has achieved Icons this year.

You’ll be able to find out more about what they did to receive this award and how you can get involved in September. 


Want to find out what Sports and Societies are out there? Click here