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Astra Sponsored Bristol Bears Women welcome Amber Reed back to the team….

Astra Sponsored Bristol Bears Women welcome Amber Reed back to the team….

As Amber Reed returns to the Bristol Bears Women’s team after injury, we catch up with her to find out who inspired her into the sport, how she relaxes, and what challenges are facing women’s sport…

2020-01-02

Amber has played her club rugby at Bristol Bears Women since 2009. She played for England at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup and was also selected for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Squad. In 2017 she was in the Six Nations Championship Team competing in every match.

Amber has been out of action due to injury but made her long-awaited return in the last match for Bristol Bears Women against Loughborough. She will next be in action in the New Year.


Astra Security are loyal supporters of Bristol Bears Women and have been in partnership with them for over six years. Supporting local communities, charities and sporting initiatives is an important part of our ethos, as we understand the importance of giving something back.

So, here’s what Amber had to say when we caught up with her…

What or who inspired you to take up rugby? And when did you start playing?

Rugby has always been in my family; from learning to tackle my brother on a small patch of grass outside our house to spending hours playing at the local rugby club and watching my Dad. However, Colston’s School was where I really fell in love with the game having decided to join the Girls’ Rugby Team set up by Ben Berry, aged 4.

Do you have someone who you looked up to within the game?

Having played football during my early years, Jonny Wilkinson is the only rugby hero I had growing up. Since then there have been many people who have influenced my career. Most notably, Ben Berry (my first ever rugby coach) and Jo Yapp (Former England Captain) who coached me at the University of Exeter.

How often do you train?

3 x weights sessions, 2 x club sessions, 3 x recovery sessions, 1 x speed session, 2 x skills & 1 x game

You come from a very talented sporting family, and having played youth cricket for Gloucestershire and hockey for Bristol – do you still find time to play any other sports?

Less often now, however, I do like to go surfing, paddle boarding (with my pup) and bouldering when I get a chance for a bit of down time

What changes have you seen in women’s rugby since you’ve been involved in the game?

The game has changed massively even in the last couple of years. There has always been a professional mindset in the amateur women’s game, but the standards are far higher than when I started at Bristol 11 years ago. Bigger sponsors are coming on-board, which means that more money can be re-invested in the game. The facilities, medical support, strength and conditioning are all better which has led to much more competitive Tyrrells Premier & Development leagues.

And women’s sport in general has increased in popularity, with more profile being given on TV and generally in the media. This has mainly been due to the success some of the Women’s Teams have had recently i.e. football; netball; cricket etc.

Women’s sport can only continue to grow if it is out there for people to see. If it is in the public domain, like it deserves to be, then sponsors (like Astra) are more likely to support and help grow the game from grassroots all the way to the professional level.

The more Women’s sport is televised the greater opportunity there is for us to be role models for the next generations.

Do you think there’s much more to do here? Is women’s sport where it needs to be?

When the women’s game is on an equal playing field with the men’s game then that is where it should be. I recognize that this isn’t going to happen overnight, but it is up to all of us involved in the game to keep challenging the stereotypes and pushing the game forwards.

And Bristol Bears Women – what’s the biggest challenge facing them in this coming season?

Consistency of performance. In my opinion, we are the club with the best set-up and support for the players. It is now up to us to consistently perform at the high level that we know we are capable of across the season.

What do you like to do when you’re not playing rugby?

I like to try and escape from rugby every now and again for a mental as well as a physical break. Both are just as important as each other. I like to spend time with friends and family; exploring coffee shops in Bristol, walking with Angus (my dog) or heading to the beach to catch a few waves.

And how much work/alignment do you have with the Bristol Bears Men’s team?

There is a really positive link between the two teams and it really does feel like a one club mentality. On top of the financial support they provide, they help with medical, S&C, analysis and coaching. However, the link is much more-deep rooted than just money which is what makes this club special.

The men’s players come into run position specific coaching sessions, as well as having Bears player Tom Lindsay as our 1st XV forwards coach this season. We can go into Clifton to observe and participate in some of the Men’s sessions to help develop our knowledge and the Men’s staff and players are welcoming and interested in how we are doing. There is a great culture and environment which is helping me to be the best player I can be.

CONTACT ASTRA

Telephone: 0345 521 0580

email: info@astrasec.com

Unit's 7 & 8 Northavon Business Centre,
Dean Road, Yate,
Bristol, BS37 5NH

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