To mark World Meningitis Day later this month (24 April), the team all ran onto the pitch sporting a pair of magnificent bright orange socks – which as everyone knows is the famous colours of Meningitis Now.
The socks were bright enough that no-one would have missed them and made sure everyone wanted to know the story behind them.
Captain Nicola Wilkins said the club had chosen to raise awareness about meningitis after the children of two of the team had been affected by the disease.
“My son Owen had E.coli meningitis at just aged 10 days, and my rugby coach Paddy's son also had meningitis age 4 weeks old,” she said.
“Luckily they both survived after a very traumatic time and a stay in hospital.”
She said she decided to use the platform the team had to raise awareness at one of their matches and found that the orange socks became such a talking point that the other team – Biggleswade – happily joined in as well.
“My husband told me that people were talking and asking about the orange socks and why we were all wearing them, so it really did achieve what I set out to do,” she said. “In total we had 34 players wearing socks.”
Nicola said that some of the players had also donated a bit of extra money to send to Meningitis Now.Creative awareness-raising
“I have played rugby for nearly 20 years and Stortford ladies have been a team for 2.5 years now - I am the team’s captain and love playing with this group of ladies,” she added.
“The sport is like a second family and they are all supportive and really lovely people. Stortford currently have 30 registered players and this is growing every season.”
Dr Tom Nutt, CEO at Meningitis Now, praised the team for their creative awareness-raising idea. “It’s always good to hear of interesting ways our supporters have come up with to help raise awareness about meningitis, as well as vital funds for Meningitis Now,” he said.
“This is a brilliant idea! Good luck to the team – I hope the orange socks bring them lots of wins in their future games”.