“Sarah Wickham is Southwold Rugby Club's first female president and the first female president to fall under the Eastern Counties Rugby banner. ”
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN
That is because the coastal club have appointed their first lady president who, as a result, becomes the first women at an Eastern Counties club to appointed to such a role.
Long-serving Sarah Wickham (45) is the person to break the mould, having been involved with the club since 2000, when Southwold first launched their women’s team, the Swallows.
Wickham said: “I am totally elated to have been named the first female president at Southwold and the first female president within the Eastern Counties structure – it is an absolute privilege.
“My main aim is to ensure the club thrives and the (men’s) first-team will be looking to win promotion next season, as will the seconds, while the ladies’ team will hopefully stabilise and grow in numbers.
“By day I run a nursing agency so I have a business mind and I will be thinking about saving money, spending money and where to invest money for the good of the club.”
As well as the adult teams, Southwold also run a successful youth setup and Wickham is keen to attract more youngsters to the club.
“It’s not just the adult set-up, we have a really strong minors and youths section which is so beneficial for the club and we are hoping to attract more younger families to the club in the future,” the new Southworld president explained.
Wickham has hung up her boots, having played as a front row, but is proud of the way the ladies’ section has grown over the years.
“The Swallows were first accredited in 2002 and going back to the early days, we were going all over the country just to get a game, playing in the East Midlands league against teams like Loughborough and Olney,” she explained.
“That has improved but it is still very difficult to recruit people into the women’s game.”
Southwold’s men’s first-team will play in the London 3 (Eastern Counties) league next season, whilst the second-team will compete in Eastern Counties 2 division.
Updated 10:13 - 17 Oct 2017 by roger felton