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Good Luck Miss Clapp

Teacher Heads to New Zealand To Play In Women's Rugby World Cup

Word is spreading that Year 3 teacher Miss Clapp has a very exciting reason for not coming into school tomorrow. She will be heading off to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand where she’ll be playing for the USA team!  “It’s my first World Cup and I’m excited, it’s something that I’ve always aspired to do, it’s always been on that list,” says Lotte who captains the Saracen’s Women’s team.  “New Zealand is the most beautiful place and rugby is just at the centre of everything.” 

Her first World Cup will see her face Italy, Japan and Canada in Pool B.  This morning she revealed her match schedule to her class and showed them some video footage of her recent trip to New Zealand when she played in the Pacific Four Tournament and saw the Haka up close.  “The children were really excited, asking questions,” she says.  “It’s a really special thing to be doing for myself but even more special to share it with the children.  I’m hoping to facetime or zoom with my class from New Zealand and keep in touch with them.”

Lotte Clapp, Team USA
Credit: Benacci Palloto

Tomorrow, Miss Clapp will fly to LA to reunite with the rest of the US team.  They have previously trained together in Wales and enjoyed a pre-season in Atlanta for the whole of August. 

Everyone at Heath Mount will be closely following her progress and we look forward to hearing all about her experiences on her return.  Today Miss Clapp talked about how much she is looking forward to getting stuck into the rugby season at Heath Mount and hopefully passing on her passion for the sport – especially getting the girls into rugby.  “Once I started rugby I was hooked.  It’s the culture, ethos, the way everyone is different, but you’re all contributing to the same thing.  You can have players of completely different sizes and personality, a bit of contact, the chance to get muddy…it’s just so much fun.” 

She would love to be able to get a girls' rugby team going and there was a huge amount of enthusiasm for the idea from the Senior girls who helped wish her luck this afternoon.  “I didn’t start rugby until 11 or 12 purely because I was too shy to join in and play with the boys,” she recalls.  “I wish I had started younger.  I would say to all the children to give it a go because it’s a lot of fun, you won’t want to stop once you’ve started!”

Heath Mount's Director of Sport, Joe Elliott says: “It’s so inspiring for all of our pupils to have a member of staff going to the Rugby World Cup and who is competing at the highest level of their sport.  We are incredibly lucky to have Miss Clapp as part of our team. We’re certainly looking forward to watching her in action and then hearing about her experiences when she returns. Good luck Lotte, we know you’ll do us all proud.” 

Photography Neil Kennedy