International Women's Day 2022: East London Vixens

Pudsey the Children in Need mascot with members of East London Vixens

Pudsey the Children in Need mascot with members of East London Vixens - Credit: East London RFC

East London Rugby Club’s ladies’ team, the Vixens, held an afternoon tea to celebrate International Women’s Day and their 10th anniversary on Saturday.

Kat Salthouse explains how players, past and present kicked into touch the misconception that rugby is just a man’s game.

I’m a firefighter and got into the sport in 2015. My watch was at a community event in East Ham, and so were the East London ladies promoting their team.

East London Vixens Kat Salthouse

East London Vixens Kat Salthouse - Credit: Kat Salthouse

They asked me and my female colleague and friend along. I loved team sports and wanted to try rugby and was hooked from the first training session.

I love that whatever size or shape you are or whatever job you do, there’s a place for you on the pitch. I went from a novice to a committed active member of the team very quickly. 

Now I am women’s rugby officer on the club’s management committee and last year I won a national rugby award, the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year for diversity and inclusion.

Rugby changed my life. From the moment I walked through the club gates I was made to feel welcome. I knew I’d made the right decision.

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I felt at home and at ease and I’ve made friends that will be friends for the rest of my life. I have made it my mission to make sure every person who walks through the doors feels the same.

I’d recommend anyone to come along and give it a go because it builds confidence, fitness, and new skills, but if you don’t feel ready to play just come and watch and ask about our experiences. 

It looks scary at first but when you play, it becomes so much easier. You put your body on the line but you have fun doing it.

And nothing comes close to the family atmosphere rugby has. It’s an intensely supportive environment and offers a great social life as well.

We are always looking for new players so if you want to try rugby, come to Memorial Park, Holland Road, West Ham, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7pm to 8.30pm, or visit our website at