Friday, April 19, 2024

Laura Delgado, from Andalusia to England, reaching Rugby goals

March 7, 2021
Laura Delgado, from Andalusia to England, reaching Rugby goals

Andalusian Laura ‘Bimba’ Delgado became one of the first two Spaniards to become professional rugby players last summer. And they did it in England, signing for Exeter Chiefs, a club that plays in the UK Rugby Premiership 15s. A milestone for Spanish and Andalusian women’s sport, and rugby in particular. A fact that will undoubtedly mark the path of women’s sport towards professionalisation in the future. We had the opportunity to chat with Laura Delgado from Jerez, who told us about her experience in her first days as a professional Rugby player with Exeter Chiefs.

It’s a dream to finally leap to being a professional and this is how Laura put it: “Belonging to the Spanish national team means that you know you have to dedicate your life to rugby if you want to continue with the national team and you have a professional life, but without actually becoming a professional. What does it mean to become a professional on a contractual basis? It’s not only the stability it gives you, but also the fact that we have made a big leap in quality in that we are in a club that has a structure and planning that is of the highest quality in Rugby worldwide. The boys are top of the Premiership in England and the English Rugby League is rated as one of the best in the world. The fact that the structure is professional and the budgets that each club has to meet to belong to this championship all have an impact on the quality and standard of the rugby.

She has been professionals for several years and has dedicated their lives fully to Rugby but without being fully professional until they reached the full stability that they have finally achieved today: “In Spain, for example, you go Tuesday and Thursday to train for an hour and a half or two hours. But here with the team we train for four days, rest one and then the day of the match. And in the end, you have a nutritionist, physio, rehabilitation, etc… You have a professional working group and they are players who are exclusively dedicated to rugby. The more hours you put in, the more you internalize it, and your level of play increases”.

“And all this is reflected in the championship and women’s rugby. For me, it means a lot to be able to train 100%, which I already do, but also to be able to have a team that makes me increase my quality and to have team-mates who also dedicate all these hours is very important because at the end of the day it is a team sport. The fact that I have professional teammates will increase my performance and for me, it is a dream and my goal. I get up every day with everything planned to perform in my training. The fact that I can have these training sessions and an incredible staff with whom I can learn and progress is the best”.

Laura ‘Bimba’ Delgado feels privileged in women’s rugby: “I feel very lucky and very grateful to be here. I’ve worked very hard and I’ve come a long way. I’ve played in Spain for three clubs, in France, in the United States… But my team-mates have done the same. Because with the position of playing for the national team you can’t look for another job because the dedication is professional. The fact that you can’t find another job means that you can’t find stability and the fact that you can be here is an incredible opportunity. Both for having this stability and for having the resources and the level that I have at my disposal now”. Today, with the Spanish national team, Laura Delgado has once again become European Rugby Women’s Champion.