After being in Cheltenham for a couple of weeks, this article arose for the newspaper ‘Gloucestershire Echo’ last October:
Being asked to play for an English Rugby Club was a dazzling accolade for Vivian Bahlmann, who started playing rugby in a country where this sport is absolutely nameless – in Germany.
The amount of competitions compared to countries where rugby has a higher presence, was always quite low – so is the standard of rugby.
But Vivian, always aiming to play rugby on a high level, got in touch with the Australian invitational rugby side Tribe 7s for which she was playing the Spring Season in Australia 2014, followed by a great victory at the Dubai Sevens and an Rugby Tour in Europe.
Being selected for the Tribe squad to play the Rugby Rocks London Sevens Tournament in June, was the last competition of the season – but the beginning of a rugby season in England.
After Cheltenham Tigers RFC backs coach Emily Ryall was leading the Tribe 7s to an outstanding finale against Wales and to the champions of the Rugby Rocks, she offered the 24-year-old german rugby player to join the Tigers.
Born in Berlin, Vivian started playing rugby as an eleven-year-old girl in her home club Rugby Klub 03 Berlin. A good rugby education have taken her to the German 7s National Team and into the Elite Squat of seven contracted player.
But the circumstance of only seven women teams competing in the German 15s league, in which most of the team struggle to set up a team of 15 players for a game day, makes it nearly impossible to improve the individual play.
The Student undergo many training sessions with less than ten players, therefore most of the teams are able to set up an Rugby Sevens site instead.
About eight teams play the regional competition, which is split in north, south, east and west to become one of the 12 top teams who trying to win the German 7s Championship.
But starting playing rugby in a team with only boys, Vivian became addicted to this exotic type of sport, about especially her family did not have any clue. But in a country where only 15.000 people spending they time with the oval ball, it is not too difficult to stand out.
There was no doubt the ‘Berliner’ will take the chance to have a rugby competition on a much higher level than she is normally familiar with, in a country where more then 18.000 girls and women play rugby regurlarly.
The training sessions with the Tigers are a much more busy with about thirty women and three coaches on the field, who having a game plan and moves Vivian only experienced in training of the man teams of her home club.
The Tigers can not only make a lot of fun about the way they guest is speaking english, they definitely can count on her wide range of passes as scrum-half and also convinced the coaches on the center position.
Being on the field 80 minutes of all the last six games she played for the red and blacks, Viv also hopes to get as much time as possible in the blue jersey of her rugby team of the University of Gloucestershire.