Catherine Spencer shares her insights and tips about how you can be successful on sport- & business fields!
Catherine Spencer (born May 25, 1979) was selected as a captain in female rugby 2007.
She captained England at the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup and was also a member of the squad to the 2006 World Cup.
Catherine Spencer, England’s women’s rugby team leader is probably the most successful English female sportsperson you’ve never heard of.
Catherine Spencer was raised in good home and her mother liked to play hockey. Catherine started to play rugby when she was 9 years old.
It was really unusual for girls to play rugby by that time. Rugby was a boys sport.
Catherine played rugby with her twin brother in his brother’s team.
She was the only girl playing rugby in that county at the time. Catherine’s parents always supported her playing.
“Yes. Girls can play rugby and still be girly and strong.”
Catherine Spencer started playing rugby when she was 9. She played the first 3 years with her twin brother, but she had to stop at the age of
13 because they didn’t let girls play in the team anymore.
Catherine thought that she had to wait until she could play again in university.
Luckily when she was 14, she was able to join women’s rugby team. Since there wasn’t any age regulations, she started to play straight with adult’s rugby team.
She played rugby around county and regional.
Catherine picked her university – Cardiff – for the course and because it
seemed a fun place to live. It was a happy coincidence that it just happened to have a magnificent rugby team.
Biggest learning experience for Catherine Spencer was when she became the female national rugby team’s captain in 2007.
She was 28 years and noticed that she had developed strong networks of support during her years in the fields.
“Becoming captain was a big step up for me and I was honored that so many people wanted to help me.”
She finds that often times, people say they can’t do this or can’t do that. You have to convince yourself that you can!
“Don’t put yourself down so much. Respect yourself!”
Catherine Spencer learned that when you are a leader, you have to lead in your own special way.
Learn what’s natural way for you to lead and be yourself.
“By leading in your very own style you will learn in a few years to be a strong leader.”
Catherine led by example, yet she had many mentors helping her in her career.
“Find a mentor who is good for you in your very own style. Sometimes your mentor doesn’t even know that he/she is a mentor in your eyes -mentorship doesn’t have to be official.”
And remember – leadership doesn’t mean that everyone is going to like you. You might have to take stand, and just can’t be nice to everyone.
When I ask about time management she says that:
“Choosing is important.”
Some people talk about sacrifices, but that’s too heavy word. If you want to be successful, in international rugby career, you have to
choose rugby to be priority. You will have to skip many weddings of your good friends, and you might even have to skip work.
You have to choose were you want to be successful at and it becomes your life.
“To be successful, you sometimes have to be selfish and stubborn.”
Sometimes it was hard for Catherine to wake up early in the morning for training and to find time for shopping right
food and nutrition, but she did them anyways. Right nutrition is very important.
“I don’t believe when some people say that they don’t have time. It is all about choosing.”
Catherine Spencer resigned from rugby 2011. She wanted to start to inspire women in finding what they are worth.
Catherine worked as a leisure office manager and She went to tell her boss about her plans of leaving.
Her boss said: “I see that you are not happy here and you want to do your own thing.” Then she asked her:
-What’s the worst thing that can happen to you if you start a company? You never know if you don’t try.
So she resigned from her work and from rugby and started her first very own company.
She wanted women to understand that:
-It’s ok to be female and it’s ok to be strong.
Catherine Spencer started inspiring women, because she wanted them to Recognize and understand their value.
What Catherine Spencer encourages you to do is…
And what Catherine Spencer says to you who are over planning their start up business is – don’t worry,
“No one else has started up your company before so don’t plan too much.”
…You learn from your experiences. There isn’t any instruction manuals for entrepreneurship.
Don’t think too much. -If you don’t try, you never know.
Catherine Spencer is happy that she did so much free work for rugby. There’s so many business people involved with rugby and when Catherine started her business, she noticed that she already knows many business people and quite a handsome network.
So being active in sports may be good for networking and in getting to know the right people.
“I didn’t earn money by playing amateur rugby, but with those connections I can now get paid speaker positions and open doors in business world.”