Women’s Sport: Female rugby players helping provide support during coronavirus pandemic

Women’s rugby players have come out in force to support hospitals and volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic. A number of internationals from both Ireland and and France are trained in the medical sector, and at a time when hospitals are short staffed and struggling to cope around the globe, some have decided to swap the front-row for the frontline. 

Claire McLaughlin is an established Ireland international and has represented her country on 16 occasions. Rugby is not Claire’s only talent however, as she has also graduated with a degree in medicine from Queen’s University in Belfast and is therefore a qualified doctor. Whilst McLaughlin has actually been struggling with an ankle injury as of late, instead of tending to her own needs, she has been treating those of others by completing a week’s work in the Accident and Emergency department at Ulster Hospital.

McLaughlin is one of many joining in the fight though. France captain Gaelle Hermet has been helping those in need alongside her French teammates Agathe Sochat and Camille Boudaud. Both Boudard and Sochat already work in the medical sector alongside their rugby careers. The latter, who plays for club side Montpellier and operates as a hooker is an occupational therapist by trade, but has been helping to make protective masks for patients and the public.

It is not just Rugby players who we have seen give up sport for the hospital. Two-time Scottish curling champion and European silver medallist Vicky Wright, has returned to her job as a general surgical ward nurse. She was due to be competing in the World Championships at present, but like many other sporting events, the competition was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

It is both inspiring and truly extraordinary to see such selfless acts from a number of women sportspeople. Fingers crossed, more will continue to follow suit as we work together to end this pandemic.

Picture: Agatha Sochat (Credit: France Rugby)

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