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Ailsworth woman represents Great Britain during world championships in bandy being held in Sweden

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A woman is helping to make sporting history for her country.

Clare Ledbury, 31, from Ailsworth is in the first team of women to play bandy for Great Britain in history.

The world championship started in Växjö, Sweden yesterday (Thursday) and runs until Sunday (March 27).

Clare Ledbury is among the first to play for Great Britain's women's bandy team
Clare Ledbury is among the first to play for Great Britain's women's bandy team

Clare said: “It is really good, all of our nerves are dying down and the team are playing really well.”

Bandy is a non-contact sport which involves players using a short stick and a ball, on an iced pitch the size of a football field.

Clare has been playing since 2018 after a large push for women to join the team and has enjoyed it since.

“It is so much fun, it is completely different to anything else.

“Women seem to shy away from bandy thinking it is physical when in fact it’s not,” Clare said.

So far, the team have won both games they have played against Switzerland and Estonia.

Clare hopes that bandy could become a bigger sport with teams incorporated into towns and children's sessions being hosted.

One of the main struggles that people in the sport face is that there is very little funding, meaning they struggle to raise awareness and members of the team end up having to contribute their own money.

“The championships have definitely drawn interest to bandy,” Clare said.

“Hopefully, we can keep going and raise some more awareness of the sport.”

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