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Ejército de Tierra

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  • Las 'leonas' de la Selección de Rugby se entrenan con el Mando de Operaciones Especiales

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Number: 7572

In Alicante

The ‘lions’ of the female national rugby team train with the Special Operations Command

The players take part in one of the exercises

The players take part in one of the exercises

Running in the barracks

Running in the barracks

One of the players abseiling

One of the players abseiling

Rowing, abseiling, American track and even tactical training. Players from the national female rugby team trained with the “guerillas” of the Special Operations Command in Alicante from the 6th to the 8th of September. The objective of the three days was that the players would not just be training physically, but also mentally, under moderate stress. However, when they arrived at the ‘Alférez Rojas Navarrete’ barracks, the ‘lions’ did not know what they would do during these three days, whilst the main idea of the training was an alleged hijacking of the bus on which they were travelling on the first day.

This was an opportunity for them to work on disciplines which they don’t often work on, as well as a way of preparing them to face unfair refereeing or to help them to develop different forms of leadership. “A lion will never say she’s tired until the World Cup!”, chanted the players in unison throughout the tough tests they were given. “We are used to training hard, but we’re not used to getting such little rest; that has been difficult for us,” says Mónica Castelo, one of the players in the team.

With the objective of freeing their physical trainer, who was still in the enemy’s hands, they practised a number of different activities which ended with a real fire exercise in which the players were present in the Shooting and Manoeuvres Range in Agost. When they finished, the team’s captain, Isabel Rico, gave a pep talk which highlighted everything they had done: “All of us here have a dream, which is to go to a qualifier and win in New Zealand, and this won’t happen if we are not together as a team. We need to take this ability to sacrifice ourselves for the team, which we’ve developed during our time here, with us. Our battle ground is normally the rugby pitch, but this time we’ve swapped it for the mountains of Alicante. Have you seen what we’ve done?”.

To finish the training, the players and the technical team came together with the rest of the components to hoist the flag. The Chief of the Special Operations Command, General Raimundo Roca, gave the captain the iconic green beret and a Spanish flag with the Command’s shield to everyone, whilst the team gave the new team shirt and several ties bearing the Spanish Rugby Federation’s logo as gifts. When saying goodbye to their instructors, they all agreed that they were taking lots of stories with them, as well as an idea of a soldier’s work. “The work they’ve done for us, for our country, is admirable; they’ve given up their weekend to work and be fully committed,” said Rico.