Personal Perspective: Milana Talks Girls Rugby


File Photo

Last year’s rugby team.

Rugby has been played for close to 200 years, it is a game of endurance, physical ability, and teamwork.  While the sport is unknown to many in the United States it is a very well known sport in Europe and many countries around the world.

It is a fast-paced game that never has a dull moment, with rugby players that possess physical ability and teamwork, you will not get bored watching or playing this sport.

The game of rugby is played on a field referred to as pitch. There are two seasons for rugby, the fall season which is played with seven players on the pitch and spring where you have 15 players. The closest sports in the United States related to rugby are soccer and football. It is in a way like football because there is tackling in rugby; the similarities end there.  

Rugby is played without a helmet or pads. The game also has some aspects of soccer because you need running endurance and one way to advance the ball is by kicking most of the time it is done by passing and running the ball.

The culture of rugby is different from most sports in the United States. There is an aspect of respect and sportsmanship that makes it stand out from other sports. For example there is only one referee, so what the ref says goes, there is no arguing with their call. During a game, the only person who can talk to the ref is the captain.

When you are on a rugby team the people on it become more than just teammates, they become a second family. After playing a few games with the team I began to rely on my teammates and know that they would be there on and off the field to help me if I needed it.

Last fall was my first season playing rugby. Going into the sport, I had no idea what it entailed just that it was a club at Centennial.  To begin with I was quite intimidated by the game and nervous since there weren’t any pads for protection.

After my first practice, I learned that rugby was not an easy game to play. Rugby athletes have to be dedicated, hard working and tough–you are going to get a little (a lot) bumped and bruised, and muddy along the way.  It did not take me long to be on the team before I started to feel like part of the family. In rugby your team and how everyone interacts as a whole, has a huge impact on how the team performs during games. You have to be able to know you can rely on your team and trust your teammates.

The rugby team at Centennial was started by a group of students three years ago, the team is coached by Tom Bremer who also taught at Centennial for 30 years.  It is can be easily said that the rugby team is a close-knit community of students and teachers from Centennial.

The greatest problem that I have noticed the team facing is numbers.  There are only a few people know about it or are intimidated by the sport and unsure whether or not they want to join. Once you attend a meeting or come to a practice you will realize that while rugby might be intimidating, it is also a sport where you can learn respect, leadership, and teamwork.

Not only are rugby teammates like family but there are specific traditions that take place after a rugby game.  The home team always hosts a meal after the game. So after an hour of tackling each other and scoring points regardless of which team wins and loses both teams enjoy a meal together.  

It is fun to get to visit with the girls on the other team it helps to build relationships not only with your own team but with the teams who are your competition. After the meal, awards are given again by the host team to the competing team for the player they think performed best.  I am thankful to be part of a game that teaches me new things everyday.

The first rugby game of fall season this year is Saturday at 11:40 at Glen Haven Park.