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Northumbria's Far Eastern rugby adventure

18th September 2018

A rugby team from Northumbria University, Newcastle, travelled 6,000 miles to China as part of an exciting new sporting partnership.

Northumbria Women’s Rugby 1st team spent 10 days in China and Hong Kong, competing in the fourth annual 2018 China-UK University Sport Week, completing their trip with a training camp over two days with the Hong Kong National Women’s team.

The Sport Week, organised by the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC), took place at Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xi’an, in China, and was aimed at promoting global sporting links.

Professor Jon Reast, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Northumbria University, said:

“We are the only UK University this year to be offered both the opportunity to participate in the UK-China universities Sports Week in Xi’an and to receive a delegation of players and staff from China.

“This project is a great opportunity to promote Northumbria University’s international profile through sport, expanding collaborations and exchanges with partners in Hong Kong and China. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this tournament as well as training with the Hong Kong national women’s team, discussing vital student exchange opportunities through sport.”

Northumbria was selected to take part in the Sport Week due to its strength in rugby union, specifically for the University’s reputation in supporting women’s sport.

The FUSC contributed much of the cost of the rugby players' accommodation, transport and activities. As well as training alongside the Chinese players, the students also got to enjoy their trip off the pitch with guided tours and cultural activities around the region.

Skye Jackson, Northumbria Women’s Rugby 1st team Captain, said: “As far as preseason trips go, it couldn't have been more beneficial to the team; bonding between the new and old players, playing in extreme weather conditions and being coached at an international level. The girls are still overwhelmed from this once in a lifetime opportunity and can't thank Northumbria University enough for making the trip possible."

Northumbria Women’s Rugby 1st team Coach, Jack Lambert added: “Players worked extremely hard on the pitch and got to explore a very different culture off it with some fantastic trips and experiences in both China and Hong Kong. The highlight of the trip was experiencing an international training camp in Hong Kong which pushed players physically and mentally but also gave them a taste of international rugby and how to perform at the highest level.”

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