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Kilburn Cosmos Ladies earn boost from Guinness Liberty Fields Fund of £15,000 prize

PUBLISHED: 15:14 13 February 2020

Kilburn Cosmos women face the camera

Kilburn Cosmos women face the camera

Archant

Kilburn Cosmos Ladies have been celebrating after winning a £15,000 prize from the Guinness Liberty Fields Fund in partnership with Stylish and Guinness.

Kilburn Cosmos women face the cameraKilburn Cosmos women face the camera

The award was made to the UK team which embodies the spirit of the first Japanese women's rugby team - Liberty Fields - who saw off societal and personal challenges to represent their country.

And long-standing player and club membership secretary Casey Leonard explained the work they have been doing.

"Kilburn Cosmos strives to encourage women to feel empowered and valued through developing rugby skills in a supportive, non-judgemental environment.

"The club is run entirely through volunteering, from coaching, clubhouse maintenance to cooking post-match meals and working the bar.

Kilburn Cosmos women face the cameraKilburn Cosmos women face the camera

"We also face security challenges having recently experienced a break-in. We pay for floodlights to illuminate our training area, which due to drainage issues shrinks to a small patch of usable grass in winter and is shared with junior boys."

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The club also hold flyering sessions outside local tube stations to attract new players, with the current crop enjoying a lively social calendar and taking part in London Pride.

And with a motto of 'Strength Through Unity' they have big plans for their prize money.

Kilburn Cosmos women face the cameraKilburn Cosmos women face the camera

Leonard added: "Our priorities align with our goals of recruiting, training and retaining players, as well as inspiring and empowering women.

"We would expand our current recruitment activities and also like to explore outreach to local schools and colleges.

"We would like to support our players in attending RFU courses as well as gaining qualifications such as coaching and refereeing which would also help to grow female participation in those areas.

"The funding will help us subsidise participation costs for those who need it most, coordinated confidentially through a member of our ladies committee.

Kilburn Cosmos women face the cameraKilburn Cosmos women face the camera

"As our home ground Gladstone Park is a public park, we enjoy connecting with our community. We would like to expand our focus by hosting free talks from inspiring female speakers, with a few possible topics including Mental Health in Sport and panel discussions about trending women's sports issues.

"We hope that all of these initiatives together will revitalise our team and connect us with our community in reciprocal and sustainable ways. This will ensure that the dreams started via the Liberty Fields Fund will remain strong far into the future."


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