Former England rugby star scrums down with Suffolk students
- Credit: Vicky Macqueen
A former international England rugby player has spoken with Suffolk students about how to make it in their chosen career, as part of a 'Pro Talks' series.
Vicky Macqueen — a British Empire Medal recipient — played for the England women's rugby team the Red Roses between 2004 and 2010.
The rugby coach joined teens from Suffolk New College this week, as part of a Pro Talks series with professionals such as England goalkeeper Nick Pope and current head coach of the Cayman Islands football team Ben Pugh.
During the session Vicky spoke about her journey to the top, playing for her country and the current state of the women’s game in comparison with the men’s.
She said: “I was hard working and determined and I’d put in the extra work — even if it meant running on Christmas Day.”
On playing for her country, she added: “I kept fighting to get there and when I was stood on the pitch and heard the national anthem for the first time, I looked up and saw my mum and dad.
"It was very emotional that moment and it represented the culmination of everything I had done to get there.”
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The rugby veteran doesn't believe the women's game has reached parity, but that things are "moving in the right direction".
Since retiring she set up a business called didi rugby — a company that uses rugby to help young people aged between 18 months and six years old get active and learn new skills in a safe environment.
College students have been supporting the Suffolk franchise of didi rugby, and plans to continue to work with them were confirmed during this meet-up.
Head of sport at the college and organiser of the Pro Talks series Lee Mandley said: “These talks have proved very popular with our students.
"It gives them an understanding of what it takes to get to the top of your profession.
"I’d like to thank Vicky. She is a great role model and was very inspirational.”