By: Louisa Woltermann
The University of Findlay’s rugby team, created in 2011, brings women together both as a club and as a sport. Kaitlyn McCann, rugby president, says her favorite part of being involved in rugby is the unity.
“I have bonded with the girls on this team more than I ever did in any other sport,” said McCann. “And because it is so physical, it pushes you to do things you might not have thought you would be able to do.”
Club sports at UF were developed in the fall of 2011. According to the University’s website, club sports were established on campus so that all students could promote and develop their interests and skills in a particular sport. Club sports at UF can be classified as instructional, recreational, and/or competitive.
These teams can practice two to three times during the week and may also compete on the weekends while in season. Club sports are also able to attend regional and national tournaments.
The UF women’s rugby team is made up of approximately 25 women who are registered to play.
The rugby team accepts women of all different shapes and sizes. The only requirements for joining the team are that the women are in good academic standing and that they attend at least one practice each week according to McCann.
“Rugby is a very take you as you are sport,” said McCann. “So I don’t think we have ever turned anybody away and I don’t think that’s going to change.”
Alesha Blake, rugby treasurer, has been on the rugby team for five years. Blake explains that her interest in the sport stemmed from wanting to make new friends. When she received the rugby recruitment email she was excited to get involved.
Rugby is not only a sport at UF, it is also a club. Members are able to be players on the field as well as hold positions of leadership within the club. McCann holds the title of rugby president and also plays as hooker and flank on the field.
Blake states that leadership opportunities are not the only thing she appreciates about the sport.
“We’re a big family,” said Blake. “We’re there for each other whether it’s a good day or a bad day, if we’ve won or if we’ve lost. We are just very close knit.”
“It’s a different dynamic than the other sports that I’ve played,” said McCann. “It’s very much so relying on your entire team.”
Samantha Ponczoch, a freshman rugby player at UF, says joining the club was a good move for her.
“I suggest [freshmen] join the team,” said Ponczoch. “As long as they are willing to do a lot of hard work and be physical.”
To follow along with the rugby team, join its fan page on Facebook at UF Women’s Rugby Fan Page.