Stirling University Women are pledging 5K daily for Eilidh

Stirling University Women are pledging 5K daily for Eilidh

Stirling University Women’s rugby players are taking part in a virtual relay race this month in memory of former player Eilidh McNab.

The squad of 22 are taking it in turns each day to run, cycle or walk five kilometres to raise money for Killin Mountain Rescue Team who were in attendance on the day Eilidh lost her life in an accident at Bracklinn Falls near Callander in August 2019.

To maximise their fundraising, Stirling University Women’s Rugby President Emily Russell and Secretary Angharad Hopwood are taking part every single day.

So far, the team have raised more than £1,200.

Speaking to Scottish Rugby about the challenge, Emily (21) said: “Although our league was officially cancelled in the middle of January, we had a feeling it wasn’t going to go ahead, so we started thinking about what we could do to support our players’ mental and physical wellbeing. During a committee meeting Angharad came up with the idea of a fitness fundraiser.

“Rather than host the fundraiser over a day, we thought stretching it out over a month would allow participants the chance to train prior to their 5K day.”

Now over halfway through the relay, representatives from the team have been reflecting on the efforts of everyone involved so far.

Team captain Anya Foxworthy-Bowers said: “Most of the team knew Eilidh, and players who have joined the team since understand that Killin MRT means a lot to us. I'm so happy to see everyone banding together as a team working for such a wonderful cause in Eilidh's memory. I couldn’t be prouder."

Members of Stirling University women's rugby team out walking and running for their daily 5K.

Despite covid-19 impacting the opportunities for game time, training and socialising, Emily explains that the team continue to stay connected through virtual means.

“It’s been important to us to offer our players a range of ways to still feel like part of the team and make it as accessible as possible. We’ve always had a strong connection online, and it has definitely grown even with everything over the last year.

“Our captain and vice-captain (Anya Foxworthy-Bowers and Rachel Egan) have been posting weekly workouts to our Facebook group with videos on how to do certain exercises, and our Wellbeing Officer (Kirsty Martin) has been doing a Monday morning relaxation and stretching session via Zoom which has been really nice.

“We also took part in other fitness challenges including a backs v forwards competition, and we’ve been having virtual socials at lunch times to have a catch up and hang out.”

Steven Turnbull, Scottish Rugby’s Regional Director for the Midlands region added: “On behalf of Scottish Rugby I’d like to send my best wishes to the Stirling University Women’s team for the rest of their challenge. This is a lovely tribute to the memory of Eilidh and to support the vital work of the Killin Mountain Rescue Team.”

Click here to sponsor Stirling University Women’s Rugby in their 5K Daily for Eilidh challenge.

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