A year in the life of a rookie

BAFA Sapphire Series On reflection

A year in the life of a rookie

You’re probably all aware from our recent post that this team has achieved a lot this year, and we look forward to doing many more things too! Of course, the team wouldn’t be the team without the players. Each rookie day that passes and each player who returns, it’s a great feeling. Here is another player, another Valkyrie, and we know for sure it’s going to be something special for them. One year on from our first ever taster day in January 2017, the rookies are no longer rookies – they are the vets now instilling and helping others in the team. Here are what some of those who joined us last year have to say about their experiences this year; how it changed them, how it gave them something different….

Ruth, Wide Receiver/Corner:

My first experience of playing American football was on a rookie day back in January 2017, where many of the rookies I met that day are still playing with me today. I’m very lucky to have joined the Valkyrie family when I did, having just started my own nine months prior. I was keen to begin a fitness regime where I could also be a part of a team, but when my friend suggested I try American football I wasn’t too keen. While I love watching contact sports I’d never had the guts to try them myself. However, the rookie day was everything I hoped for. Marvelous, strong women all looking for their next challenge. And we have had a fantastic time together.

We’ve played in many games together, contact and flag, tournaments and friendlies and in every single one we have had fun! Fun & laughter have become the calling card of our team as I’ve overheard other teams talk enviously about our spirit as a team.

With the Valkyries I have found friends for life. We’ve faced many trials individually and as a team in the year since my rookie day and we’ve faced them all together. We regularly meet outside of training and are in constant contact whether we need encouragement to workout, advice about our lives or a shoulder to console ourselves on.

 

BAFA sapphire series round 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheryl, Defensive Line:

What has this year been like for you?
It’s very much been a year of learning – from enjoying watching a sport and understanding basic rules to learning more about the why behind everything has been an eye opener, but has helped my confidence grow immeasurably with the sport.

Has anything changed about you?
More confident, both inside and outside of the sport. Putting myself out there to play a team sport, having not really gelled with team sports in the past has helped me grow as a person. I’m more motivated to train and try to figure things out for myself within football, not being afraid to ask questions etc.

What’s your favorite memory so far with the team?
The first win in Sapphire. Albeit it was just one win, I think bringing together only a few hours of training and winning the game helped solidify the team onto the right path for the future.

How have you seen yourself improve from last Sapphire to the upcoming one?
Learning an (almost) entirely new position! I think having a greater understanding of my assignments and the role that my position plays in the greater picture will help me feel like I’ve achieved something even if I’m not the one getting the tackle, but I’ve contributed to the play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mandy, Offensive Line:

This year has been a year of transition and learning. Being new to the sport and not from a sporty background it was definitely a developmental challenge. Since last year I’ve grown more confident in my knowledge and ability.Best memory would be hard to choose. I reckon shouting Nigel Thornberry words of encouragement is up there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vi, Offensive Line:

This year has been amazing since joining football. Of course the year had its up and downs, but football has given me my spark back. As corny as it sounds, joining the Valkyries was one of my finer choices in life! And it has not only changed me as a person for the better, but it has restored my faith in other people and has made me feel like I’m part of something.

I have become much more confident in my own abilities. I have realised that I can still learn something new and that I have the resilience to try to improve, to be better, fitter, stronger. I have become part of a team and integrated myself with other like minded people from all walks of life. My favourite memory so far with the team is when I scored my first ever touch down. I just remember the whole team jumping around and cheering! I threw the ball in air and ran over to celebrate, not taking into account that we still had the rest of the game to play haha! It was just a really nice moment for me to have that support from my fellow team mates. But honestly, there are so many favourite memories! How have I seen myself improve from last Sapphire to the upcoming one? I would say understanding the game more for one!  But also becoming more focused on what my role is and the importance of it. Also, understanding my fellow team mates roles on the field and learning about how I can make changes to what i do and how i do it to help them further during each play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s wonderful to see how just by going to a rookie day on a cold, wet field that the Cardiff Valkyrie roster for Sapphire 2017 was filled, and with so many different talents. The same is hopefully said for those who visited us for this year’s rookie day!Nobody starts as an expert. The only way you can get great at something is by becoming good at something. So just keep trying, keep turning up, keep putting the hours in, keep having fun. One of the best experiences in Sapphire 2017 was just getting stuck right into it all with the team, making history with our first ever tackle tournament. Whether vet or rookie it’s going to be a brilliant Sapphire 2018, playing together as Valkyries.

 

 

#RideOfTheValkyries

Meet 10:45am for 11-1pm training

Sundays, Roath Recreation Ground

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