Head coach Kim Johnson was awarded Coach of the Year, as Surrey Heath held their 12th annual sports awards. The awards recognise and celebrate local sportspeople, teams, clubs, coaches and volunteers for their achievements over the past twelve months. Johnson was nominated for the’ Active Surrey Coach of the Year’ having lead the drive to reinstate women’s rugby at Camberley RFC.

The past eighteen months has seen numbers increase from six to thirty-six with a regular fifteen plus, attending Wednesday night training. Johnson is the energy force behind the team, leading a group of dedicated coaches and volunteers towards this seasons goal of entering a league 2020/21. The Cocktails have a competitive fixture list this year and enjoy the social side of rugby, something Johnson believes is integral to building a successful team. Her coaching mantra is – Team on and off the pitch.

Johnson knows exactly what it means to be part of a team and what it takes to build one. Coming from a non sporting background with preconceived ideas of the ‘kind of people’ that play sport, Kim stepped into her first pair of boots as a favour to a friend and became one of the founding members of the Camberley Cocktails, named as their first sponsor was a drinks company Tia Mia. She soon realised she was one of those people, as the excitement and challenges of the sport inspired her to increase her fitness and skill levels. Johnson went on to captain CRFC and represented Surrey Country and South East Region. Her belief, if she could do this anyone could, fueled her passion to share the sport with others and was the catalyst of her coaching career.

Her dedication to coaching girls rugby over the years has set many young Camberley players on the path to international accolade as past players have joined the ranks of three of the four home nations England, Scotland and Wales. Kim says “the proudest moment for a youth coach is seeing your players being involved in the sport as adults. Passing on the passion you have shared with them to the next generation”

Johnson is now sharing her passion and experience with a new generation of women rugby players and her consistency and belief is paying off. A recent influx of new players have included seasoned rugby players looking for a new rugby home. Some having returned from Uni, others moving into the area for work and some shaking the cobwebs off their boots to step back onto the pitch. Camberley women pride themselves on creating an all inclusive friendly environment enabling all women to experience and enjoy sport and communality, from any background.

Camberley women’s team welcome brand new players at every training session. They are a mixed group of fitness, age and experience learning skills on the pitch together. Johnson and her team can be found at Camberley RFC, Watchetts Recreation Ground, GU15 2SR every Wednesday at 7.30pm. For more information contact cwrfc@camberleyrugbyclub.co.uk or find them on Facebook.