Customer in Focus – Georgie Lilly Perris-Redding
Here at Active Digital we are proud to be the mobile communications supplier for Sale Sharks Rugby Club and the Sale Sharks Community Trust. We spoke to Georgie Lilly Perris-Redding. Not only is she a star rugby player for Sales Sharks Rugby Club, Georgie also works for Sales Sharks as a Community Coordinator. We talked to Georgie about her passion for her sport and how communications played a vital part in keeping them connected.
Georgie, please tell us about yourself. How did you get started on the pitch?
Good question! So, I’ve been playing Rugby for a few years now. I’m now 23 but I actually started playing when I was 7/8. I played with the boys for a good couple of years and I was the only girl on the team. My Mum used to make me wear a scrum hat and so the referee always thought I was a boy too. As I got older my local team didn’t have a girls’ team and so I had nowhere to go. At my age, it wasn’t cool for girls to play rugby and that affected me. I stopped playing rugby and took up trampolining instead. When I was 18 years old, I discovered a local women’s rugby team- so I thought I would go down and see what I thought. I knew my trampolining and athletics had kept my speed up and in good shape, but I didn’t take it too seriously and just went down to play every Sunday or so. I soon ended up being invited down to the local championship team in Waterloo, who then ended up in the premiership- and that’s how I’ve ended up where I am really.
I’m now playing for Sale Sharks Women, a new premiership team. I’ve normally played centre/wing, but I’ve recently made the transition to back row- we’ll see how it goes but so far, I’m loving it!
What is your favourite thing about the game?
I love the fact that it’s a team game, with rugby you’re constantly surrounded by teammates, and you have this fantastic support network. Oh, and I’m far too aggressive for netball, and so rugby is just the sport for me!
During our summer lockdown, how did you find ways to keep in touch with your teammates to keep morale high?
We’re so lucky in this day and age, with mobile connectivity, Zoom and other platforms that we can all keep in touch. We had weekly quizzes throughout lockdown and as soon as we could get out, we tried to meet in small groups to do our strengthening and conditioning together for support. Checking in on others was so important and I’m so grateful that we have the opportunity nowadays to easily check up on a friend over the phone.
As lockdown came about, the team was just starting to meet each other, and so no-one really knew each other. All our first interactions were online! We were making PowerPoint slides about ourselves to share, and at first that was the only way we could meet each other.
What’s next for Sale Sharks Community Trust?
We’re trying to expand in all areas possible, especially in women and girl’s rugby. We’re trying to give them the same opportunities that men get in rugby. In addition, we’re trying to expand into prisons, secondary schools and universities to cover a whole range of programs accessible to so many.
More About Sharks Community Trust
Sharks Community Trust aims to use the core values of Rugby Union to make a positive impact on the community across Greater Manchester and the North West. This is achieved by providing high quality education, health and social inclusion programmes and increasing participation in Rugby Union and other sporting activities.
This includes running high quality programmes such as:
• Educational Primary School Programmes
• Mental Health Programmes to workplaces and schools
• Veterans Programmes
• Disability & Inclusive Sport Programmes
• Educational programmes for young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET).
• Rugby Development Camps
• Coach Education
Sale Sharks Community Trust – Key facts
• They worked with over 1000 disabled people
• Two Sale Sharks Community Trust staff were shortlisted for national awards
• The HITZ and Advantage programme helped over 100 young people gain a job or a place on an apprenticeship
• They worked with over 4500 young players and coaches across the North West to develop grassroots participation in the game
• Over 4,850 children in local primary schools across the region benefited from Trust delivery
Find out more at https://www.salesharks.com/community/