We caught up with Wigan Warriors Women captain and vice-captain, Rachel Thompson and Victoria Molyneux.
Pair say that routine is key as well as the ability to help each other out, even from a distance.
- Thompson: “This helps us to keep a little bit of a routine and normality to our week with all the madness going on at the minute. This little bit of social interaction just helps keep us focused and motivated and push each other as if we’re together.”
The Women’s Super League season was due to get underway this coming weekend, but owing to the current coronavirus pandemic, the season and all aspects of Rugby League activity, are suspended.
Wigan Warriors Women are working hard to keep their own spirits up by participating in joint training sessions using Microsoft Teams, so they can still have their usual training ground ‘banter’ whilst doing home workouts.
Captain, Rachel Thompson, said: “It’s a strange situation to be in at the moment and one that I hope we never have to be in again, but as the saying goes - you’ve got to make the best out of a bad situation. Not training as a team obviously isn’t ideal but the girls have definitely shown how they can step up in times of adversity and really make the most out of it.
“The season hasn’t even started yet for us, so for it to be put back even further is a real test of the girls’ mental and physical toughness. No one wants pre-season to be even longer than normal but the girls are really digging deep. Keeping their minds focused and being able to keep the hard work ethic we had when we were training together but doing it on their own has been tough for them, it’s been tough for me.”
Vice-captain Victoria Molyneux, added: “The whole situation for everyone is quite scary. For the team it’s difficult because pre-season has gone so well, levels of fitness are at a higher point than we have seen before and everyone has been focused and determined to keep progressing each week. We had just got a pre-season friendly win under our belts and we were only a couple of weeks off our opening Super League fixture, which we have been so excited and pumped for!
“The team appear on the outside to be coping well. We are talking frequently through social media - coaches and staff included. We are laughing at ourselves and each other and the bonds being made seem stronger and tighter than ever. Rach (Thompson) and I decided to set up a group video workout one Sunday morning which is now going to become a regular weekly feature.”
Speaking on the video workouts, Thompson, said: “We’ve come up with a training strategy to try and help us girls stay motivated and stay as fit as possible. In addition to the daily workouts we’ve been getting from our Strength and Conditioning coaches, we’ve put together four workout teams. Each team video calls together as a group and we smash out a workout. We do this on the nights we’d normally be training and the weekends when we should have a game.
“This helps us to keep a little bit of a routine and normality to our week with all the madness going on at the minute. This little bit of social interaction helps to keep us focused, motivated and push each other as if we’re together. We can talk and see each other as if we’re together, the only difference is we’re in our own living room or garden. The girls have really bought into it and we’re working really hard to get ready for the season when it’s ready for us!”
Molyneux, agreed: “We are missing spending time together, the social side…the banter! Which albeit is one of the main reasons we have joined a ‘team sport’, so these open lines of communication and group workouts are so important. Our staff are sending us daily workouts which have been fun, need limited equipment and are hard!
“We are encouraged to talk to each other if we don’t feel ourselves and feel lonely - I know that we will all be there for each other in times of need. A squad is more than a group of players…we are a team, a family!”
For many people in the UK and around the world, the coronavirus pandemic is a challenging time due to work and family commitments, which is something Molyneux can relate to.
She said: “For me personally, the COVID-19 outbreak affects not only my work but all my family. Not only in the uncertainty of it all but the worry of it all. I, including many of my family are ‘key workers’, which is still demanding time and work. I have a 5-year-old that I am home educating when I’m not in work, which is testing at times.
🍒⚪️👯♀️ https://t.co/PbcWqycOqR— Vicky Molyneux (@VickyMolyneux1) March 22, 2020
“Advice and words of encouragement that I keep telling myself are that you have to see the positives of the situation and also don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The fact that I do have time at home with my daughter is allowing us to enjoy quality time together, as well as doing loads of exercise - I’ve never done so much each day!
“We are exercising together, playing in the garden, I help her to spell new words and listen to her read more than usual and so much more. It’s about us, particularly my daughter, looking back at the situation that we will remember for the rest of the lives, and remember all the nice things that we did.”
Thompson and Molyneux summarised: “A final message is to try and keep positive, stay in a routine and make exercise a big part of that! Talk if you feel like you need to talk and we will eventually get through this. It’s so important to listen to what the government advises us. Stay safe and take care.”