A HOSPITAL physiotherapist has a unique claim to fame – she’s a dab hand at American Football.
Bev Marwood, who treats patients from Hartlepool and East Durham, has only played the sport for three months.
But she has already been named captain of the Great Britain women’s team. The 29-year-old, who works at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, now has her sights set on the European Championships later this year.
Bev’s love affair for the game started when she did physiotherapy work for a local men’s team. She heard the British American Football Association (BAFA) was running a women’s development scheme to get females into the sport.
She said: “At 5 ft 3in and nine stone, it might have seemed a terrible idea, but already being a rugby player, I’ve never shied away from contact sport so decided to give it a go!
“I went to a few training sessions, immediately got the football bug and have never looked back. Things escalated very quickly. After only three months’ training, I was selected for the first-ever Great Britain women’s team in 2013; I was also very privileged to be selected as captain and played my first international versus Sweden, which our rookie team went on to win.”
After the match, Bev decided to look into joining a local team but couldn’t find one, so she set up her own team, the Teesside Steelers.
She said: “The Teesside Steelers have now been training and playing for over a year with great success in national leagues, finishing third in the country in 2014 and having five local players, including myself, selected for the 2014 GB squad.
“My second selection for the Great Britain team was on a much grander scale; Captaining a 40-woman squad in the first-ever 11-a-side international.”
“I am now dedicating my time to building the Teesside Steelers who are currently recruiting for new players and working hard ahead of a competitive contact season.”
Bev is also looking forward to the 2015 European Championships, and said: “Playing such a challenging sport and being part of such an amazing team has definitely been a positive experience; not only making new friends and developing my skills but boosting my health and fitness ten-fold.”