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Two rugby girls on the run: Kayleigh and Paige take on challenge in memory of Siobhan

Gary Heatly

“Shibby was a friend, team mate and role model to many and was a selfless individual who helped anyone who needed it both on and off the pitch”…

If you follow women’s club rugby in Scotland you will be used to seeing Kayleigh Warrick and Paige Aitken-Robinson running about a pitch, but they’ve decided to swap their studs for trainers to take on the Edinburgh Half Marathon this coming Sunday, May 26.

A first for both, they have decided to raise funds for Siobhan’s Legacy of Love, created by the Cattigan family after daughter Siobhan, the Scotland cap, passed away in 2021 which raises funds for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

Kayleigh, 26, started playing rugby at Annan back in 2014 and has continued to play there ever since with spells at Stewartry Sirens and Heriot’s Blues in there too. She has also played for charity teams Pigbarians and Hearts and Balls.

“I usually play No.8, but can also play second-row and flanker,” Kayleigh said.

“I love the whole aspect of the game, meeting players from other teams and playing alongside friends and family, the latter which has happened at Annan.

“In terms of the challenge coming up, running is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I have grown to quite enjoy it after all of the training I have done recently.

“I have been friends with Paige since we played in the North versus South game for Pigbarians back in 2019 and I think we had played against each other previously in an Annan against Grangemouth game.

“I knew Siobhan through simply supporting the Scotland Women’s team.

We shared a few messages back and forth over Instagram, especially during periods of injury, and met at a few games when Siobhan was on the sidelines and playing.

“It’s an honour to be running in Siobhan’s name and doing it alongside a friend makes it even better.”

Paige’s rugby journey began at Stirling County around nine year ago. She is back playing at Bridgehaugh now – as well as being dual-registered with Annan – after spells at Grangemouth and Heriot’s Blues and has played for many a club in sevens, friendlies and tournaments.

She also plays for England Deaf Rugby Union, going to the sevens World Cup in Argentina last April, and she has just been selected to go on the South Africa tour in August of this year.

Paige, 29, tends to play prop at County, but can cover anywhere in the pack and said:  “I love that in rugby there is a place for everyone on the pitch.

“I’m not the fastest or most agile, but that isn’t a barrier into the sport. I am currently involved in the youth set up at County and my players may talk about something they can’t do that their team mate can. We then discuss all the things that they can do and how that allows that team mate do that thing. It always brings a smile to their face and really does show there is space for anyone.

“Running is absolutely out of my comfort zone, it has never been something I have enjoyed. My sports background pre-rugby was horse riding and rowing and I always remember dreading the cross country runs at school, but I will be giving Sunday my best shot.

“Kayleigh and myself have been friends since Pigbarians launched their women’s team in 2019. I don’t think either of us could tell you how the friendship grew to how it is now, but she is one of my best friends and I feel so privileged to ‘do’ life with her – even if she does get me to run a half marathon…!

“I knew Shibby from my first stint at County and then from watching her play internationally and playing against her when I was with Heriot’s.

“She was always so welcoming to anyone at County and although my first stint at the club was short and I was very new to the game you could tell there was something special about her, I don’t think I ever saw her without a smile on her face.

She was a team mate in my first ever rugby match I played and I also got to play with her on the Murrayfield back pitches one Silver Saturday.

“Raising money for Siobhan’s Legacy of Love was always in the back of our minds as we wanted to do something, so it just made sense really and we will both push through the half marathon for a great cause.”

To support Kayleigh and Paige, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/RugbygirlsontherunforShib