Staff Spotlight: Jemma Whyman lives for touch rugby

Former Kent student and current Sports Development Officer in Medway, Jemma Whyman (pictured right) made it all the way to the trials to qualify to play at the Euros for England in touch rugby. Although she wasn’t selected, she says it’s been a fantastic experience and has made her all the more motivated to keep training.

Jemma started playing in the rugby union in her early 20s for Kent while working as a Kent Police Officer. Her love for the game quickly grew and the lifestyle of rugby helped her make friends for life.

Taking a break from rugby was a difficult decision, but Jemma was interested in continuing her education at University of Kent to study Sports Therapy which helped her make the leap from Police Officer to Personal Trainer.

Desperately missing the sport, Jemma began playing for Medway Rugby Club only a few years ago. In her second season with Medway she was terribly injured; breaking her ribs and puncturing one of her lungs. After a full recovery, she was ready to get back into the sport, but decided to join the Canterbury Rugby Club training with the touch rugby team.

It’s from there that Jemma found her true ambition and went along to the Nationals trials where she was selected despite being fairly new to touch rugby. She went on to play in the over 27s National team in August 2017 and selected further for the England training camp.

University of Kent student Danni Payten was also selected to go to the England training camp. Although Jemma and Dannie weren’t selected for Euros, disappointment is sometimes the outcome when you’re aiming high – but it’s the journey that matters most. Both women have endured an extremely tough road, but it’s something that Jemma and Danni have a real passion for. Despite the result, their adventure will continue and Kent Sport will be the first to shout about it!

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