SUPERMARINE’S historic first female president Teresa Bickell says her appointment is a huge honour.
Bickell follows the likes of former England internationals Gill Burns and Sue Day, of Waterloo and Wasps repsectively, who were the first women to take up the presidency of their clubs.
Bickell has been involved with Supermarine for 20 years and is still playing now. She succeeds her junior coach Steve Bartlett, who recently decided to end his time in the role due to illness.
Bickell was nominated for the seven-year tenure for the presidency in the club’s recent AGM and is hoping to emulate the work of predecessor.
“It’s a huge honour for me to be appointed.
“I’ve been around the club a long time, and been involved here and there, helped out behind the bar and been to lots of social events but never heavily involved in the political process of being made President, I’ve only recently been made aware of it,” Bickell told the Advertiser.
“Steve Bartlett was my coach and I have very big shoes to fill, he is a huge inspiration to me.
“Hopefully I will emulate what Steve has done already.
“He has been a huge part of the club, he was my coach for a number of years, he’s been youth coach, he’s used to do the pitches, he’s taken on lots of roles and responsibilities.
“I don’t want do anything too much different and just build on what he’s done.”
Bickell also wants to use her new position to continue the advancement of female sport and obviously rugby in particular.
“I think there is a long way to go for females in sport, especially in team sports we have a long way to go.
“It’s a start and a positive start, the more that female sport is viewed and participated in the better it will get.
“Though we’ve had referees and other people watching that have been really shocked at the high standard of rugby.
“We are a forward-looking club but we’re still a traditional rugby club at heart, historically there’s a lot of ethics that can be taken from the rugby club.
“The diversity here is great, if we had a ‘pc’ box you’d be able to tick every one.
“That’s something I’ve really been proud of and always pushed about the club myself is that we have always welcomed everybody and don’t discriminate, so we’re a forward-looking club who are proud immensely proud of our history.”
Bickell will be looking to help further develop the club’s female and male youth sections.
Despite being a first for the club in terms of having a female president the underlying message from Bickell is one of continuity and family.
“What I want to try and bring to the role, is what I believe is the ethos of the club, is working together, we are like a community, I want to support that.”