As part of the This Girl Can Series, we've been catching up with some inspiring women who have found their passion through getting active.

Meet Tamsin, the current President of the Women's Rugby Club at UCL. Find the right This Girl Can session for you by signing up to one of our events today.

Tamsin Hollyman

Barriers to getting active - can you provide a short summary of the barriers that stopped you from getting active in the past? 

I have always enjoyed sports and activity and was lucky enough to grow up in a family that values it so much. That being said, there have definitely been times where I have struggled to get properly involved, probably because I hadn’t found the right sport yet. But once I figured out what clicked, and started to realise that movement and sports were actually the key to improving so many other areas of my life, it became so much easier to stay active. For me it was the gym that was the first type of movement that fully engaged me – and lifting weights every day very quickly became integral to my routine and my life as a whole. When I arrived at uni though, I had reached a point where I needed a new challenge, and so going back to the sport I had played as a kid (and weirdly never really enjoyed) seemed like it was worth a try. It would have been easy for me at this point to feel discouraged by the surprise, shock and confusion I was often met with when people around me learned that I was playing rugby for uni, but this potential barrier soon became irrelevant the more I got involved with the team.

'the feeling of finishing a rugby match on a Wednesday afternoon for me is like no other - it's a type of fulfilment I can't seem to find anywhere else.'

Motivations - can you provide a short summary of what motivated you to get active and what activities you do?

My original motivation for getting involved with UCLWRFC was to get back into team sports, perhaps improve my cardio and broaden my fitness levels beyond my strength training in the gym (gym girls know the struggle). Looking back to last year though, this was never going to be enough for me. I realised that with rugby, if you want to be in the team, you have to be IN the team and on the pitch, and the close bond I was beginning to build with the girls has ended up being a big motivator for me.

Juggling exercise with other commitments - can you provide a short summary of how you fit exercise into your routine and juggle it with other commitments?

Especially now I have taken up the role of President in the club, balancing all of my commitments has been pretty challenging. Despite this though, keeping in mind that exercise is just as important to me as other daily tasks has helped me massively. Seeing sports and exercise as part of a normal day, along with lectures, social life etc rather than a chore (which it is so often portrayed as) makes things so much easier for me. Of course it’s also essential to factor in time for rest, but focusing on the benefits and the feeling of movement and making it a priority makes all the difference.

Impact of exercise - how does your chosen way of being active make you feel?

Training on a Monday night is such a great start to the week for me – a chance to catch up with the girls, hone our skills and put the hours in. But the feeling of finishing a rugby match on a Wednesday afternoon for me is like no other – it’s a type of fulfilment that I can’t seem to find anywhere else. The challenge of a full 80 minutes ahead of you at the beginning of the game is also pretty unmatched, the total adrenaline is something I’m learning to love the feeling of.