Stirling Women’s Rugby fundraises in memory of a lost teammate

5 mins read

Stirling University Women’s Rugby Football Club (SUWRFC) are raising funds in ‘Team Relay’ for Killin Mountain Rescue charity in memory of their lost teammate, Eilidh McNab.

As a team, SUWRFC will be completing a relay every day throughout February. Each team member will complete either a 5km run, walk or cycle before passing the ‘baton’ to the next person. 

Angharad Hopwood, SUWRFC Secretary, says: “It started off as us wanting to do something, [because] our season [got] cancelled and we wanted to do something to keep everybody active”.

“Killing Mountain Rescue is a charity that is close to home for the team. We lost our teammate in August 2019 in an accident, and Killin Mountain Rescue were there to try and save her.” 

“We came up with the idea of the Team Relay because it’s something that individually everybody will be able to do it on their own day. We tried to make it as accessible as possible, because we wanted something that will be a challenge, but everybody will be able to take part in.” 

Credit: SUWRFC

For Emily Russell, the president of the SUWRFC, Eilidh was not just her teammate, she was also her flatmate. 

“She was my best friend. She’s been in the team for 5 years, everyone loved her.”

“She was a leader and friend of everyone. She was always there to fix something if it went wrong. She was like a mother to everyone.” 

Bill Rose, the Secretary of Killin Mountain Rescue Team (Killin MRT) said, the SUWRFC’s fundraise means lot for them: “Sincere thanks to Stirling University Rugby Team who meant a lot to Eilidh for carrying out a fundraiser for Killing Mountain Rescue in memory of her.” 

“Killin MRT were really sad that they could not help return Eilidh safe to family and friends. All the emergency services worked together so hard to try and save her. Eilidh meant so much to so many who got in touch after losing a dear friend.” 

Killin MRT providing a voluntary search and rescue team in Killin, Callander, Crianlarich area Source: Killin MRT

Stirling was Eilidh’s home. She moved here for an undergraduate degree and stay for her Masters. In her five years in Stirling, she was a member of the women’s rugby, touch rugby team, she played for three different local teams at once, organised sports events for local schools, won the Most Valuable Player and according to her teammates was pretty much the “Rugby Mom of the team”. 

Emily describes her as “a Wonder Woman.” 

“She was all over the place. I am not sure how she had time for everything. She was in five different teams at the time and had a full-time job… she would be here, there and everywhere doing whatever she could to help and still manage to mother all of us at the same time.”

Angharad agrees: “On and off the pitch she did everything. She broke her wrist and still played a game because we were short a player.” 

The rugby team reached their target of £300 before even starting the challenge. Their new target of £600 was reached within the first days of the relay. Now they set their next target of £1000. 

Emily says: “I like to think we hit it.” 

“KMR is such a small charity that even the smallest amount will do so much for them. Everyone in that charity that does the rescuing for them is a volunteer. They cover quite a large area so the more money they have the more equipment they can get. Anything would help.” 

If you would like to contribute, please click here.

Feature image: SUWRFC

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Film, Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Sports editor @ Brig Newspaper. Bylines in Edinburgh Evening Times and the SPA National Magazine.

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