Women’s Rugby: Competitive Camaraderie

by Shelby McGuire

Freshmen roommates Brooke Twichell and Rachel Hershey were whisked over to a welcoming table of energetic women’s rugby players at the involvement fair this fall. Before they knew it, Hershey and Twichell were attending their first women’s club rugby practice, making new friends, and signing waivers.

Neither of them had any rugby experience or knowledge before joining the team, but that didn’t matter. At an interest meeting for the team last Tuesday, team president Kirsten Sommers shared with perspective players that no previous experience is necessary to join the team. Hershey added that coach Rebekah Colon was good at teaching new players about the sport through instructional videos that she shared with the team.

Cedarville’s women’s rugby is a Division II club team which plays in the Ohio Valley League. The team practices twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and participates in games throughout the school year and at least one tournament in the spring semester.

The team’s main goals are to play hard, have fun, and build lasting friendships all to the glory of God. Sommers emphasized in the meeting relationships built on and off the field are what make the team experience unique. Learning and growing in the sport together, winning and losing together, as well as team devotional time and eating pizza together all contribute to the strong bond shared by the team.

Sarah Newborn, Cedarville graduate and founder of the women’s rugby club joined the interest meeting through video chat to share her heart for the club with perspective members. “Rugby is the coolest sport,” she said, “you know your friends have your back. It’s such a character building sport.” She also mentioned that the camaraderie and friendships she built while a member of the team is one thing she misses most about her Cedarville experience.

As the team starts practices again in the new semester, they are inviting girls who are interested in joining the team to attend the first no-commitment practice at 6:00 P.M. this Thursday at the intramural fields. At the next practice next Tuesday, anyone who is interested in officially joining the team will be able to sign a waiver to play.

Although previous experience is not require to play on the team, Sommers mentioned a few qualifications. She said that it will take courage and humility to try something new. The learning process will also require each player to be patient with themselves and their teammates as they work together towards a common goal.

Women’s rugby is meant to be a fun experience, but the team also requires a competitive spirit and a willingness to push themselves to the play to the best of their abilities. Most of all, Sommers said, the team exists to glorify God through the sport of rugby, and each player must come to the field with that goal in mind.

In addition to recruiting new players, Sommers mentioned a few other upcoming events for the team. They are planning to vote on choices for new team jerseys that will be purchased with the funds from the team’s recent black light dance fundraising event. The team will be revamping their game day apparel just in time to participate in the home tournament in March and possibly another tournament in April that the team has not played in before.There will also be an end-of-the-year banquet to celebrate the year of playing rugby and building relationships as a team.

Twichell said that rugby has allowed her to meet amazing people who she can learn the sport with and also grow in Christ with. “It’s my favorite sport now.”

Shelby McGuire is a sophomore journalism major and Campus News Co-editor for Cedars. She enjoys working out as well as feeding her caffeine addiction pretending that she has her life together.

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