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‘It’s been a long wait’ – Mayes

Bristol Bears Women’s new Club Captain Daisie Mayes spoke of her excitement to return to action as Kim Oliver’s side begin stage one training.

We have to look back as far as January to the last time the Bears were on the pitch at Shaftesbury Park, but this week saw Bears Women return following the RFU granting permission to Premier 15s clubs to begin stage one training.

Although the make-up of the sessions will be very different for weeks to come with only small group training permitted and social distancing in place, Mayes is just happy to be back out on the pitch.

“Everyone has been so excited to get back to training and see each other again albeit in small groups,” said Mayes.

“We’ve all been counting down the days until we can get back on the pitch and this is the first step in doing that. We haven’t seen each other in person for over six months and anyone involved or close to the group will know that it’s far too long, especially when you’re such a tight-knit group.

“Throughout lockdown everyone has been amazing in supporting each other via various means and we’ve all kept each other going when it has been quite tough at times.

“It’s been truly inspiration as well to see the work of all our key workers, doctors, nurses and medical students throughout what has been a chaotic time. They are all amazing and fantastic role models in their own individual way.”

With the new season on the horizon the 2020/21 campaign comes with added responsibility for Mayes as she was named the new club captain during the off season, a role which she feels honoured to undertake.

“This is my third season with the club and throughout my time here I never thought I would have the honour to be club captain for this unbelievable group.

“When I first spoke to Kim over Zoom I thought I was in trouble, but when she asked me I was completely taken aback and didn’t need any time to think it over – it’s an opportunity I jumped at.

“Becky Hughes is a legend of the club and she did a fantastic job over the last season in being club captain and to carry on her legacy is very important to me.  

“I’m going to be very hands on and involved throughout the season, being there for the group, listening to what they have to say and working with the coaching and operational staff to look at where we can improve.

“It’s also about being a support network and someone the group can come to if there are any issues and having completed my studies in the social sciences of sports management and coaching it’s an area that can be a real strength for me.”

For now the Bears are back to training as the 2020/21 Premier 15s competition awaits a start date but Mayes and co are happy to have their hands back on the ball.


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