International Women’s Day: The Sports College Trailblazers

On International Women’s Day today, we’re featuring two trailblazers at the Hull FC Sports College, Alisha Roper and Poppy Lyon.

Alisha was the first female to join the Centre of Excellence’s Sports College. She was then joined by Poppy Lyon, Abbigail Turner and Charlie Lawson at the start of the 2022/23 academic year, with the quadruple representing Hull FC’s Women’s squad.

They all featured for the Women’s team in their pre-season victory over Sheffield Eagles Women in January, and could feature throughout the season in the Women’s Championship this year.

But week to week, they all attend the Hull FC Sports College at the Centre of Excellence.

It’s a busy schedule through the week, with classroom-based sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s on top of training sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays, and fixtures on Wednesdays.

They also train with Hull FC’s Women’s team on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, with games on Sunday afternoons when the season gets underway this Sunday.

“It’s a busy schedule, but what I really like about the Sports College is that all of the content we cover can always be linked back to yourself athletically – how you can improve,” Roper told

“It just gives me the best possible understanding of my body and how it works, so it gives me the platform to become the best athlete I can be.

“This year has been so much better for me, not being the only girl at the Sports College. We’ve now had the opportunity to enter the Girl’s College Rugby Programme this year, so it gives us all something to look forward to.”

Whilst the Sports College provides opportunities for those determined to pursue a career as an athlete, it can also open a whole host of avenues into the sporting industry.

Poppy Lyon, another of the Hull FC Women’s contingent studying at the Sports College, has explained her career aspirations.

“Once I have completed my course with Hull FC, I want to go to university to study to become a Sports Physiotherapist or Rehabilitator,” she said.

“The college is giving me all of the necessary tools to prepare me for the next step in my career.

“It’s still fun to be able to continue playing rugby alongside my education. It’s really good that the college and the club is linked together, so everything is under one roof.”

The Hull FC Women’s team kick off their 2023 Championship campaign away to Warrington Wolves Lunas this Sunday.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in kickstarting your journey into the sports industry with Hull FC, you can discover more about our Sports College here

For more information, please email