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With all the negative news of late, it’s good to see Instagram being used positively by the recent efforts of Belfast Harlequins RFC’s women’s team.

The social distancing being practiced around the world due to Covid-19, has come as a shock to the system for many rugby players who were used to the social interaction of training, twice a week, alongside a weekly match.

The women at Quins felt this strongly, and decided to do something to help keep the players in touch in clubs across the country. This is where Irish Rugby Round Up was born.

A social media based challenge, Irish Rugby Round Up focuses on keeping teams interacting with each other, as well as keeping fit by setting each other workout challenges.

The aim is to complete the workouts on evenings where training would normally occur and participants are encouraged to bring it to social media to challenge others to do the same.

With more than 10 female clubs participating already, in only 2 weeks, this looks to be a really promising adventure.

Here is what Irish Rugby Round Up have to say;

We are four girls who play for Belfast Harlequins and we are all missing different aspects of Rugby now it is cancelled for the foreseeable. We understand the physicality and mental fortitude required for Rugby and we understand it is impossible to replicate it, but with uncertain times ahead it didn’t mean we were going to give up.

We provide challenging home workouts for every position off the pitch. No equipment, just a winning mindset.

Our website is a platform that allows rugby players from all over to participate individually or as a team. We upload “training sessions” that last 30 mins and a “game day workout” which is longer in duration, every week. These are rugby specific home workouts suitable for all players with weekly challenges added in to encourage social interaction between clubs and players.

All workouts are designed by experienced strength and conditioning coach personal trainer and founder of the website Lesley Winder, who is also captain for Belfast Harlequins.

Experienced strength and conditioning coach personal trainer Lesley Winder working with a client.

Lesley states –

Our aim is to provide a short term replacement for the sport we know and love, to keep players connected to their team mates and club to keep them mentally healthy and to provide rugby specific conditioning work outs to maintain strength and increase fitness.”

Our goal now is to reach as many individual players and clubs with our website and encourage involvement through social media where we do a live workout every Sunday at 1pm.

We believe our website will be an important part of keeping players in a routine. It will help keep them mentally and physically fit during these times of limited social interaction, no training and no games.”

The challenges are open to all women’s clubs throughout Ireland and the exercises have been carefully selected so players of all abilities can safely participate.

For more information or to get involved visit their website or follow on instagram @irishrugbyroundup  or contact Lesley Winder by email


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