Natalie’s introduction to rugby came when the Wasps Community team ran tag rugby sessions at her primary school when she was in Year 3, aged 8. She came home brandishing a flyer about an Easter camp being run by Wasps at Marlow Rugby club and demanded to go. We are not a rugby family and didn’t even know if girls were allowed to attend; we discovered they were and she went along for the course. Despite being the only girl there she loved every minute of it and so began her rugby journey.
She started playing for Marlow RFC in September 2012 as an U8, a year down from her actual age, as she was small and this meant she had a year of tag before transitioning to contact. During her time at Marlow she had the opportunity to play several times during the halftime at Wasps matches whilst they were based at Adams Park and this has sparked her passion for Wasps. She continues to support them and we regularly make the trek up to Coventry to watch them.Natalie continued to play for Marlow, as the only girl in her team, all the way through to U11. At U12, Natalie was no longer allowed to play in a mixed team and, unfortunately Marlow did not, and still do not, have a girls team and so in September 2015 we had to look around for a girls team she could play for.
She joined High Wycombe but unfortunately the time of training clashed with her Guide meetings and at that point she was the only U13 playing and occasionally the only junior at training sessions. She remained as a High Wycombe player through the 2015/2016 season but as High Wycombe played together in a cluster with Chesham she found she could make more of their trainings and so we decided to join Chesham from the start of the 2016/2017 season. She remained at Chesham until the end of the 2017/2018 season at which time she finished at Guides and logistically training at High Wycombe made more sense and so in Sept 2018 she re-joined High Wycombe.
During the 2018 season Natalie has joined the Buckinghamshire Young Match Officials programme. In November 2018 she attended a Kids First Refereeing course and then in February 2019 she completed the England Rugby Referee Award Course (Level 2). This means she is now a qualified match official and she is very much looking forward to putting what she has learnt into practise.
Since she started at her secondary school, Natalie has been trying to get girls playing rugby at school, constantly asking PE staff if they can start a girls rugby team. This term Great Marlow School has introduced tag rugby into core PE for KS2 and 3 girls and have started up an after school U15 girls rugby club for Years 9 and 10. Mr Steve Goodright, Head of PE at Great Marlow said
‘Natalie approaches all sports at Great Marlow School with a superb attitude. However, her absolute passion is rugby. Since starting girls rugby in curriculum PE, and as an extra-curricular activity at GMS, Natalie has had an integral role in promoting the sport, and setting the standard for girls rugby at GMS. She has assisted with the coaching sessions, and offered her expert advice, from her vast rugby experiences. She is a credit to both her parents and High Wycombe Women's Rugby Club, and we are really proud to say that she is a student at GMS’
As well as rugby Natalie is a hockey goalkeeper for her school team and Marlow Hockey club playing for their U16 development team and has made appearances for several of their Ladies teams when they are without a goalkeeper. Until recently she played football for Marlow Girls in their U16 team where she was also the goalkeeper and she continues to play for her school (taking goalkicks has helped her with her rugby conversion kicking) Her other passion is for dance - she has danced with Jane Douglass Fitness and Dance since she was 5 taking part in their annual shows each year.
Her ambition is to play rugby in a major stadium - preferably for Wasps - or to officiate a major game somewhere, perhaps for the Red Roses.