Women’s team player profiles – Jen Calder

January 2nd, 2017

Got a new year’s resolution to get fit or take up a new sport? Why not try joining the Pirates women’s team? We asked some of our current players to share their thoughts and experiences to help you find out more. Our latest profile is Linebacker Jen Calder who enjoys the sneaky fitness and feeling part of one big, crazy Pirates family!

 Age: 24
Position: Linebacker
Occupation: Graduate Trainee at NHS Education

Why did you start playing American Football?
My good friend Angela Wilson told me about her husband Steven’s American football team starting a women’s team. She told me all about her experience during their first season of flag and how much she loved it. I’m not the fittest person in the world and I’d not played sport since school. I came along to practice one night to prove to her how rubbish I’d be, and I’ve never left!

Was it what you expected?
Not in the slightest. I’d watched a couple of the senior teams games but that was my only exposure to American football before playing. I never thought I’d be able to understand the rules never mind actually play a game. I was so pleasantly surprised.

Proudest moment so far?
Winning our first contact game at home against the Edinburgh Wolves. They’re an established team with more experience and we beat them with a team full of rookies, half of us still not knowing the rules!

Why should people give it a go?
It’s so true when we say it’s sneaky exercise, because you’re having so much fun and running on pure adrenaline you don’t notice how much you’re moving (and sweating). You don’t need to be super fit or sporty to play, just a commitment to work hard and do your best.

What was most challenging at first?
I have shin splints which gave me real issues last season. It was so frustrating not being able to develop to the best of my ability or having to sit sideline at games and practice when all I wanted to do was be on the field. You still feel a real part of the game even when you aren’t playing though and that’s what I love about it.

What piece advice would you offer new players?
Don’t say you can’t do anything. Take coaches advice and try out different positions. Persevere on the days you think you’re rubbish. We all play a key part on the field, even if we’re not making tackles or scoring touchdowns, everyone needs to do their job to make the game a success.

What’s the best thing about being part of the Pirates?
We really are one big crazy family with a whole lot of love to give. I never expected to bond with these girls the way we have. We range in ages, backgrounds, beliefs and interests but our love for the sport keeps us solid. We see each other through tough times in our personal lives and on the field, and no matter what we’ve always got each other’s backs.

Interested in getting involved?
We’re looking to grow our team ahead of the new contact American Football season starting in February. New players should be aged 17+ All shapes and sizes welcome, and no experience is needed. If you have fun and decide to join us, we’ll provide all equipment on loan once you learn the basics.  Come along and join in a practice on Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm at Glasgow Club Crownpoint Sports Complex. Email info@piratesfootball.co.uk to find out more.

Profile photo courtesy Geoff White, G-W Images.


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