A women's veterans rugby team has celebrated its first anniversary.

The Veterans squad at Hove Rugby Club has more than 40 ladies, many of whom are mums to younger players and have been supporting from the sidelines over the years.

Team founders Karen Smith-Watson and Emma Vermeer are delighted with how popular it has been.

The ladies have 'lots of laughs' during their trainingThe ladies have 'lots of laughs' during their training (Image: Hove Ladies Vets)

Karen said: “Every Tuesday evening, we get together for training: drills, games and lots of laughs.

“It’s not just about the rugby, it’s about the friendships and support too. There are all levels of fitness and skill, and everyone is welcome.”

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Emma, a PE teacher, said: “The ladies vets play touch rugby which can feel less intimidating than full contact especially if trying for the first time.

“It is a terrific way to meet new people, get fit and do something different.” 

The team was established in 2023 and coaches Jimmy Cockle and John Rose have been impressed with the improvement they have made.

The team meet for training every Tuesday afternoonThe team meet for training every Tuesday afternoon (Image: Hove Ladies Vets)

“Many of the ladies haven’t played rugby before but have picked it up really quickly,” said John.

“We train all year round and it’s been great to see the enthusiasm on Tuesday nights, even when we’ve been playing in muddy winter conditions.”

The muddy conditions inspired 21 members of the team including the coaches to take on a ten mile Tough Mudder on May 18. The group beat their fundraising target and split the £6,000 raised between the Marlets charity and Hove Rugby Club.

The team raised £6,000The team raised £6,000 (Image: Hove Ladies Vets)

Hove Ladies Vets train every Tuesday 7-8pm at Hove Rugby Club. For more information about Hove Rugby visit: https://hoverugby.club 

Jimmy said: “Tackling 20 obstacles over ten miles was an extension of our training and the ladies are a great team, supporting each other on and off the field.”

After Brighton was selected as one of the host cities for next year’s Women's Rugby World Cup, the club has seen more interest at all levels. Matches will be played

Councillor Alan Robins, cabinet member for sports and recreation, said: “Being a host city for the Women’s Rugby World Cup, brings with it a fantastic opportunity to open up more opportunities for women and girls to play as well as involve local people in the tournament and enhance our growing reputation as a major sporting city.”