The nib Blues have partnered with nib New Zealand (nib), to launch a series of videos that take a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the Blues wāhine, as they prepare for the inaugural Super Rugby Aupiki competition kicking off this Saturday.
The videos showcase what it takes to be a professional female rugby player and follows ‘A Day in the Life’ of players Eloise Blackwell, Cristo Tofa and Theresa Fitzpatrick.
nib Blues vice-captain, Eloise Backwell, said “Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved playing rugby and I didn’t think it would ever be my career. I used to juggle fulltime teaching with my passion, but here I am today, proudly calling rugby my profession!
“I still pinch myself and feel very humbled to be playing professionally, and I hope these ‘A Day in the Life’ videos show other young girls to keep dreaming and that it’s possible for females to have a future in the sport,” she said.
nib Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said it was an honour to be backing the nib Blues and to be part of the movement in creating more inclusivity and diversity in sport.
“It’s an exciting time for women’s sport in Aotearoa. Especially in rugby, as 2022 marks the first Super Rugby Aupiki season and we welcome the Women’s Rugby World Cup later this year,” Mr Hennin said.
“To be able to hear that players like Eloise now have the financial backing to focus on professional sport full-time is what real progress looks like, however, we know that not every player is afforded this same opportunity,” Mr Hennin said.
“This is why we also invested in initiatives to support the wellbeing of the team, so they can focus on playing at their best and alleviate some of those external pressures as they juggle fulltime work and family life,” he added.
Initiatives to support the players have included a nutritional class with a dietitian and an ice bath recovery workshop – to get expert advice on how to best take care of their mind and body while playing at an elite level. This week, each player will also receive a pair of high-performance rugby boots fitted so they can perform at their best on game day.
Blues Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Hore, said “These videos are a great way to get to know some of the amazing players in our squad and we hope it encourages more young women to chase their sporting dreams.”
“In honour of the Aupiki women’s competition, we’ve also launched our ‘Women of Influence’ initiative, where we’re calling on the public to submit women who’ve had a profound impact in the community. It’s an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate them for all they do,” he added.
For all ‘A Day in the Life’ videos, visit here.