Kate Marks has big shoes to fill as Cambridge University RUFC women’s captain

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 March 2018

Kate Marks in action for Cambridge University at Twickenham. Picture: Keith Heppell

Kate Marks in action for Cambridge University at Twickenham. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffemedia 2017

Murray Edwards College student to succeed Lara Gibson

Kate Marks is relishing the challenge of taking over as Cambridge University RUFC’s women’s captain for next season.

The 21-year-old Murray Edwards College history student has been elected by team-mates to succeed Lara Gibson, with Mary Coleman to become the team manager.

Under the guidance of Gibson, it has been a superb campaign for the women’s team as they have won the British Universities & Colleges Sport Midlands Division 1A, scoring 549 points and conceding 17 on their way to eight wins out of eight so far.

They were also victorious in the Varsity Match against Oxford at Twickenham, a game in which present vice-captain Marks scored the third try in a 24-0 win.

So it is big shoes to fill for the current vice-captain.

“I feel very lucky and honoured to have been selected by the team, it’s nice to have been voted in by my peers,” said Marks. “I feel like I have been building up to it this year having been vice-captain so I’m very much looking forward to next season.

“Lara has been an amazing captain so the amount of things I’ve had to pick up as vice-captain was probably minimal due to her excellent work.

“It’s been a fantastic season, so obviously huge shoes to fill. I think Lara had the same experience coming in after Alice Middleton, who was another great captain in the last few years.

“I think Lara had to step up and she has now subsequently shown what I hope to live up to in terms of being a good captain; she’s had a great season.”

Seeing the workload involved with being captain could have put Marks off running for the role, but the opposite was true.

“I think it’s been a good step forward because I’ve had a chance to begin to develop my time management to be able to manage both my academic studies and the vice-captaincy,” she said.

“I’ve had a good chance to learn a little bit about that this year, and that will step up next year going into captaincy.”

Marks has plenty of experience to call on as she was on the RFU National Youth Council for three years, including a spell as chairman, and was the Cambridgeshire county volunteer coordinator for the Eastern Counties Rugby Union.

Marks, along with Emily Pratt, has also been selected to take part in Cambridge University’s academy.

“I think being captain is a great opportunity in terms of it gives me a chance to develop my leadership skills but also really focus on playing ability,” she said.

“To be able to lead by example is obviously a huge part of being a good captain. Working with Jack [Heald, the academy manager] will be awesome for that.

“We’re the first girls to go through the system, so that in itself is a massive honour and a massive step forward for the club in terms of equality. In terms of personally, I’m just really looking forward to that opportunity to develop my own skills and try to move forward with my own play.”

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