Saxon's game face has lipstick on it

Recruiting new players

When asked if she faces any barriers or challenges in sport, Saxon said "Many; from trying to find a referee for lower level female rugby games, to finding sponsors for female teams.

Women are seen, even in today's climate, as less significant in sport. Especially in such a male based sport as rugby." Saxon finds such barriers can often make the girls feel inferior and embarrassed about playing.

Overcoming the gender divide

Saxon Ball, 24, is a student on the BA (hons) Applied Social Work course at the University of Derby. At 19, Saxon began playing for a community rugby team, Derby Vipers, and continued playing on the university team which was started by a fellow teammate.

As the Rugby World Cup came to a close, Saxon was already recruiting for the Women's Rugby Team at the University, but it has not been easy for her.

This Girl Can inspiring participation

Sporting a 'my game face has lipstick on' profile picture, This Girl Can has helped Saxon to really voice her views and attitude towards sport by encouraging other females, using the catchy slogans to inspire.

On the campaign, the Women's Rugby Team are big supporters; it is a campaign that voices their values and desire to get more women involved in sport.

Not only has the campaign encouraged participation from females, but Saxon believes it has raised mainstream awareness for the "lack of sport provisions for females…and shown it is normal to play sport and still be feminine and female".

Written By Holly Mowbray (University of Derby student)

Find out more

The Derby Vipers welcome players of all abilities from novices to the more experienced, they train on Tuesday nights. For more details visit their website:

To find out more about the University of Derby's sport programme, visit the Team Derby website: