Student Spotlight: Merryn Gunderson

Student Spotlight: Merryn Gunderson

Eric Jones, Active Campus Coordinator, recently spoke to Merryn Gunderson a student on the BASE Level 6 Rugby course.

Merryn has just been selected for the first Edinburgh Rugby Women’s team and will compete in the Celtic Challenge against Glasgow Warriors and 2 teams from each of Ireland and Wales.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am currently on the BASE level 6 sports development player program. I have always been interested in my sports from a very young age, trying lots of different sports such as judo, football, golf, and many others. Rugby is my main sport as I have always been brought up watching my dad playing. My rugby started at Forrester RFC at the age of 4 where my dad set up a minis section with another parent. I played there till I was 11 and was no longer allowed to play there as there was no girls team, so I then moved to Murrayfield Wanderers up until under 18s. I moved to Edinburgh Harlequins where this is when I felt my rugby really started to progress. After ageing out of Harlequins, I went to Corstorphine Cougars, where I am currently playing. My Rugby has continued to progress while being here and I’ve been pushed to keep improving.

How did you find out you had been selected for the first Edinburgh Women’s team and how did you feel when you heard?

Towards the end of November, I got an email inviting me to the trails where I went for 3 trail sessions. After the 3 weeks were up, I got a following email a few days after the trials had been completed to inform me that I had made the selected squad for the first-ever Edinburgh women’s team. When I got this news, I felt over the moon, knowing that all the hard work I have put in over the last while has paid off. Also, the hard work that my coaches have put in was worth their time.

What did your average training week leading up to selection look like?

In an average week, I will do 3 to 4 pitch sessions and around 4 gym sessions, as well as some theory/analysis work. Then I play matches on a Saturday.

What’s coming up next for you in 2024 and do you have any future goals?

In 2024 I will be looking to keep progressing my rugby and playing in the Edinburgh squad in the Celtic Challenge that will be taking place in the first few months of the year. My goal for the future is to hopefully make it into the Scotland Women’s National squad and to keep playing my rugby at the highest level possible.


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