Maggie teams up with Louise to lend rugby exercise expertise to Write Out Loud's cause

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Write Out Loud’s Crowdfunder appeal took a different turn on the final day of our campaign. Rugby coach Maggie Hammond from Forest Hill in south-east London generously offered to share her regular Sunday morning online exercise class with Write Out Loud and poet Louise Fazackerley.

Her rugby fitness sessions are based around the desire of participants to get stronger during lockdown. Maggie, a level 2 Rugby Union coach who trains women and girls at Southwark Tigers RFC and runs a rugby after-school club at Sydenham School in Lewisham, uses her experience of Pilates and yoga to add to rugby strength and conditioning training. The aim is to avoid injury, build muscle quality and feel more relaxed after each session.

embedded image from entry 111911 In her exercise class Maggie, pictured, uses everyday items (a chair, rucksack and two tins of beans) to create a home gym. It means everyone can join in whether they are fit, less fit or just starting out. The exercises are mostly chair-based, so everyone was already sitting comfortably to enjoy poems from Louise, who read from her book The Lolitas.

Maggie said: “I am pleased to help raise money to promote Write Oud Loud and poetry in schools and to link up with women and girls in Manchester, Machynchlleth, Bristol and LondonOur rugby club is based in inner-city London. I am originally from Wigan, the home of Louise Fazackerley and several other great poets. There is an odd symmetry there, an ongoing and historic connection through people, place and poetry. Everyone at Southwark Tigers RFC wishes you well with your fundraising.”

Maggie also offered us an inspirational poem to end the session, Musa Okwonga’s ‘Rugby is like life’. Thanks to all the women and girls that attended, and for your kind donations. We are looking forward to holding a second event on Sunday 7 March at 11am in celebration of International Women's Day.


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