Novocastrians Women's Team have been busy doing a variety of challenges in an attempt to keep spirits high and make sure the competitive juices have continued to flow, including Strava art, 2.6 challenge, virtual tour and healthy competition to cover the 462km to Old Bristolians RFC.
Initially, when lock down was announced a weekly fitness challenge was initiated, with those wishing to participate being divided up in to teams. Each week daily activity has been awarded on a varying points scale so that those completing a brisk walk with the dog were rewarded, but those smashing out a HIIT session with weights earning additional points for effort. Group chats within teams ensured all those involved had a support system, whether that be for encouragement to do morning PE with Joe Wicks, download the couch to 5k app, or someone to say its okay to have a sofa day and binge watch something online! Mental health has been championed above success in the competition, with emphasis placed upon staying home and staying safe.
With inter club competition not being enough to occupy the ladies, ex-player Cathy Foster who now plays for Old Bristolians RFC, challenged both squads to cover the distance between the two clubs in a friendly test of endurance. Using Strava to record the distance, and a strict 1hr per squad member per day the race began. The 462 km from Newcastle to Bristol was covered in 4 days by both squads, with Novocastrians edging the win with 150.64 km covered in day 4!
Whilst completing the race with Old Bristolians, it was suggested that using Strava, the ladies should attempt to spell out the letters of Novocastrians WRFC, as a bit of fun and to encourage some team work! In under 1 hour the ladies had completed the task, whilst adding to their race totals! Once posted on social media, Harrogate RFC commented saying what a good job had been done, to which Novos responded with "why don't you give it a go!"
The ladies additionally completed the 2.6 challenge as part of their weekly zoom training session, whereby they completed 26 reps of the following: squats, high knees, sit ups, push ups, star jumps, leg raises, superman, lunges, skips and a 2.6 minute plank! Each participant donated to their local charity of choice to support those in need during these uncertain times.
Finally, in order to maintain the social calendar (which is obviously as important as the fixture list!) Novos Ladies hosted their end of season dinner, with awards going ahead as usual to celebrate the season gone, championing those who have excelled and celebrating the success stories. More impressively the following weekend, on which the squad was supposed to be attending the Carrick 7s tournament, there was only one response - Virtual tour! All traditions of tour were followed as usual, even completing a virtual and socially distant passing of the teapot for all tour freshers! Fun was had by all, but in true Novos spirit, many of the ladies have re-booked their flights to the emerald isle!
In these testing times, Novos Ladies have proven that the COVID-19 restrictions don't have to stop you exercising and the power of technology means that your team mates are never to far away. Keep it up!