Skip to main content
Book your demo

Experience how to engage people with their wellness, inform your organization with insight, and enable healthier outcomes

WORKPLACE WELLBEING

Marlie Packer on trying to find balance, tackling grief and not getting stuck in a ruck

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Marlie Packer - a professional rugby player for the Saracens Ladies and England teams, a 2014 World Cup winner, and now a first-time mum - talks about the highs and lows of balancing home-life with a successful rugby career, while battling injuries, depression and grief

Planting the rose

 

Becoming an England Rugby player all stemmed from Marlie finding her love of the sport at age five. She thought she was just off to watch a rugby game, but ended up taking part in a training session and coming home caked in mud – much to her mum’s amusement.

 

“I think my mum thought ‘Let’s send her back again; she’s come back tired’. Obviously, I was a child that didn’t like to sit down for too long. And it’s something I just really took to straight away and something that I was really engaged with.”

 

“I think the sport itself was a bit of rough-and-tumble, that little burst of being able to run through people or tackle people. I think that was the thing that really drove me and I really enjoyed it. And me and different kids from different schools and making new friends was a massive thing. It didn’t matter what size you were, you weren’t judged or anything. It was just about going and having fun.”

 

Never stop trying

 

Now, after 74 England Caps, she reflects on her early years and how she subverted expectations by turning negative chants of ‘She’s only a girl’ to spur herself on and work that extra bit harder.

 

“I wouldn’t say I’m out to prove people wrong, because that’s not how I see it. But I played mixed rugby when I was younger, and one of the parents would be shouting to their kid ‘Tackle her, she’s only a girl’… Later on, that became a joke between my coach and me, as if to say ‘Remember what they used to say?!’”

 

“So you can have all the talent in the world. But if you don’t work hard with that bit of talent in you, you’re not going to shine as much as someone that works really hard at what they’re trying to do.”

 

Don’t get stuck in a ruck

 

She explains how she coped with her father’s passing and how she is now learning to walk before she runs’, both mentally and physically, following an injury.

 

“I was depressed. But it was because I couldn’t deal with it. It’s actually going head-on with things and actually taking things in, not in my stride. Instead of letting it fester, I would say to people don’t sit on it – let grief in. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve. But for me, it’s making sure that you keep talking to people around you because you have a lot more people that love you and support you than you know.”

 

“I think it’s how you deal with it. Come back – because one setback doesn’t determine you, or shape you as a person or a player.”

 

Read more tips from Marlie on finding balance and learn more about her story on Tictrac.

 

Find out how our Health and Wellness Software, can help employees become happier and healthier at work.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the month’s best stories from wellness, HR, insurance, benefits, tech and beyond, straight to your inbox. Specially curated for wellness heroes.

Related articles

WORKPLACE WELLBEING

Mental and emotional benefits of exercise

WORKPLACE WELLBEING

Workplace wellness – how to thrive in the new normal

WORKPLACE WELLBEING

4 ways to keep employees connected in a disconnected world

Book your demo

Enter your details, and we’ll be in touch to arrange a demo
×

Browser not supported

Unfortunately, we no longer support Internet Explorer, some elements of the website may be displayed incorrectly, to avoid problems, we suggest using a modern browser.

We offer content specific to your location: the United Kingdom