Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Bears 5's - a players point of view

 Recent picture of Paul

Recent picture of Paul

Paul McAnespie, age 55, has attended 32 Bears 5’s sessions including festivals. We asked Paul how he feels about his Rugby League journey this year:

"As a rugby union fan, I became aware of Coventry Bears when they started playing at the Butts Park Arena. My wife and I had watched a couple of games. I found out about Bears 5’s from advertising in their programme and on game days. I had played a little bit of Rugby Union back in my school days but was more of a fan than a player!

Having made a life changing decision to give up drinking alcohol after recomendation from my doctor to cut down just over a year ago, I also wanted to improve my fitness and think about losing weight. I was nervous about attending my first session as my fitness was really poor and I was overweight, but I was looking forward to it as one of the players, who was also a coach, had told me it would be fun following a Coventry Bears game.

 Paul before his journey began

Paul before his journey began

That was it, I was hooked! My first session was great fun and I was completely shattered afterwards but felt so good. Since starting, I have lost almost two stone in weight (see before picture), my confidence has improved and I am entirely alcohol free. I would like to continue to keep my fitness up so I still attend as often as I can, but the most significant part is the people I've met who have supported me in my quest to be healthier, they are a great bunch and the coaching is great even by the young Apprentice who is not a player.

I've told a lot of people about the sessions and my son is going to start coming soon and hopefully I can convince more to come along. I've gained a lot more understanding of Rugby League and become a huge supporter of the club. There is such a welcoming atmosphere both on game days and in the community led sessions.

My wife and I have become season ticket holders, we have been to the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley and we watched the 4 Nations Double Header in Coventry in November. My new business, Brain Mechanic, is now a sponsor on the Coventry Bears playing kit which I am extremely proud to support and my wife also sponsors her favourite player.

Bears 5’s is hard to compare with anything else, but I love it and it has helped me significantly improve my life. I have so much confidence I have even started football training at the tender age of 55 in addition to my Rugby League!"

Bears Media