To coincide with International Women’s Day, we profile three key figures working for Bath Rugby and Bath Rugby Foundation.
Sophie Bennett – Rugby Operations and Player Welfare Manager, Bath Rugby
Sophie joined Bath Rugby in 2014 after spending nine years working for the Welsh Rugby Union, where she held various roles including the Women’s Performance Manager and the National Academy Co-ordinator. In her current role, Sophie is the centre point of the rugby department looking after everything from matchday logistics to managing the first team squad from Monday through to Sunday.
A keen sportswoman herself, Sophie took on the daunting challenge of the Cotswold Way Challenge – a 100km run from Bath to Cheltenham. Not only did she complete it, but raised £3,500 for Headway Cardiff.
“To be able to combine a passion with a job is something which a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to do on a day-to-day basis. To do that for a Club like Bath makes it even more special.”
Caryl Thomas – Project Development and Impact Manager, Bath Rugby Foundation
Caryl started her journey with the Foundation in 2008 as a Community Coach and nearly a decade on remains integral to the Foundation’s vision of empowering young people in Bath and the surrounding areas to succeed. Her hard work and dedication to the charity was recognised at the end of last year, having been named a finalist at The Bath Chronicle Sports Awards for ‘Outstanding Services to Sport in Bath’ and ‘Sports Personality of the Year.’
Caryl has also left her mark on the pitch winning 48 caps for Wales since her debut in 2006, which has included three Rugby World Cup campaigns.
“I’m really proud of the Foundation’s work and the impact of that work on the local community. That feeling of being part of something bigger motivates me every day.”
Helen Shand – Medical Administrator and Massage Therapist
One of the longest serving figures in the Club, Helen joined Bath Rugby in 1995 and over two decades on continues to support the first team in their preparation in season and in the off season. Helen provides soft tissue therapy throughout the week for the squad, as well as on matchdays at the Rec and on the road.
“I think the reason why I have been at Bath Rugby for over 20 years is the challenging, rewarding nature of the role. You never know what each day will bring, which is crucial in developing as a person. Secondly, I love being part of the team and playing a role, no matter how small in the success.”