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Player Interview - Anita 'Finny' Velinova

Player Interview - Anita 'Finny' Velinova

By Sam Rourke
8th March
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We're finding out a little more about some of our players on International Women's Day - Our final interview comes from Anita 'Finny' Velinova

What is your role at the club?
I joined Wasps Ladies back in 2008 and have had a diverse involvement with the club over the last ten years. I’ve been a player (fullback and scrum half) between 2008-2017, involved in the Wasps Ladies committee to help growth of the ladies section, and most recently been part of the management group as a Team Manager.

What is your job outside of rugby?
Like many others I do have a full-time job in the city. I work for Hootsuite, a leading social media solution provider, and am in charge of the Technology partnerships across EMEA. My job is demanding but extremely rewarding, I work with some incredible people and that makes it easier to get through the tough days!

I’m lucky that I get to travel with my work, travelling is always high on the agenda! Fun fact for the year - my New Year’s resolution is to travel to one new city each month - going to be an expensive year but full of experiences and memories! So far I am keeping on track with that resolution....

What is your best rugby memory?
I actually have two rugby memories that I will always remember, one with Wasps and the other from my international days.

Wasps 2s had an extremely difficult season in 2013/14 which resulted in relegation. The team was devastated but we worked hard on our game plan and came back fighting. Our hard work paid off - we found ourselves in the promotion game on March 2015 against OAs - still buzzing from that incredible game and amazing win which guaranteed promotion for the 2s back into the league we belonged. I could not have been prouder of being part of Wasps that day and having such fantastic teammates around me!

The second memory is pulling on a playing shirt against Luxembourg in my first international game with Finland. There is a sense of pride, accomplishment and excitement that is hard to describe - the whole team were feeling it as we had all worked hard to get to that place. We did go on to win the game, but the feeling of playing for your country is what mattered more.

What is your favourite thing about being part of Wasps?
Wasps is not just a rugby club, it’s a family. I’ve always considered my team mates as part of an extended family. We win together, we overcome losses together, no matter what we always stay together. Once a Wasp, always a Wasp.

What piece of advice would you give girls starting out their rugby journeys?
The key here is it is a journey - it’s not a sprint, but a marathon. Put in the hard work, even when it’s pouring rain and cold outside. Use your team mates to keep motivated with a common goal. Whatever it is you want to achieve with rugby, be it making new friends or one day representing your country, remember to enjoy it.

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