Scottish Rugby is saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Keri Holdsworth. She was 36. As a Scotland Women international player she won 15 caps for her country and in her career as a physiotherapist, her ongoing work with a number of Scotland age grade squads was highly valued. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.
Photo: Keri (far right) supporting the launch of this year's Brewin Dolphin Girls' Cups
Born in Broxburn in 1977, Keri spent her early years in West Lothian then undertook her secondary schooling at Duchess’s High School in Alnwick before going on to study maths and sports science at Birmingham University then physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, gaining honours in both degrees.
As a back row with Watsonians, she went on to make her debut for Scotland Women against Ireland in 2008, continuing into the 6 Nations and that year’s FIRA tournament. She played in seven of Scotland Women’s nine internationals between January and May 2009 and into the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, making her last appearance in the blue jersey against Canada.
Keri worked as senior physiotherapist with NHS Fife for more than four years, and more recently with a number of Scottish Rugby’s age grade teams while continuing as physio with both her club, Watsonians, and with FASIC Sports Medicine Centre, in a senior role. She was also a physiotherapist volunteer at the 2012 Olympics in London and was immensely supportive of young players progressing in the game, bringing her physio skills and enthusiasm for the game to girls’ festivals and tournaments.
Scottish Rugby Council member Dee Bradbury, said: “It’s tragic news and our thoughts are with her friends and family at this time. Keri will be very sorely missed by the Scottish rugby family.”
Scottish Rugby’s Head of Performance Medical, Paul McGinley, said: “On behalf of the medical teams across Scottish Rugby I’d like to express our deepest sympathies to Keri’s family.
“Keri worked to provide care to Scottish Rugby players over a number of years, and was an outstanding professional and person. Some of our team members knew her as a player, others as a colleague and friend who worked with our Scotland Women’s under-20 squad. She was a fantastically upbeat and positive person who will be very sorely missed, but very fondly remembered.”
Scotland Women head coach Jules Maxton, formerly head coach with Scotland Women under-20 said: “Keri’s experience as an internationalist herself made her particularly intuitive to the needs of our players. Her understanding, caring and patience were massively appreciated by all the players and coaches who she worked with over the years.”