Post 1: For the Love of Rugby

Post 1: For the Love of Rugby

Rugby sevens is a sport that has been growing steadily in Canada over the past few years after making its debut in the 2016 Olympics that took place in Rio De Janerio. It has engaged fans of all ages since then, as there is no real in-depth knowledge of the sport needed to enjoy the speed, intensity, aggression and excitement that the game brings.

Rugby sevens (which I will further refer to as sevens) is a Scottish derivative of the original, English, rugby 15’s (fifteens). The difference being, in fifteens there are fifteen players per side during an 80-minute game, whereas sevens there are only seven players per side through a fifteen-minute game. Both versions of the game are broken into halves, consist of passing an oval shaped ball backwards, minimal equipment and full tackle. Of course, both consist of many rules, like any sport, but even after ten years of playing, I must say I still don’t fully understand the rules. They can be quite complicated to understand but patience is a fine skill to have when learning this sport. The best part is, someone will always be willing to help or explain what’s going on. Sevens and fifteens have a lot in common, not only tactically but also in terms of the atmosphere, passion and the community it develops.

 It is no wonder that rugby is starting to become more popular in Canada as I personally have never experienced a sport that has such a welcoming community. I started playing fifteens when I was thirteen years old for a local club team, the Peterborough Pagans. I eventually struck an interest in sevens a couple years later and it stole my heart. What originally drew me and made me fall in love with the sport was the comradery. I have always believed rugby to be a magical sport as anyone of any shape or size can play the game. Through rugby a lot of players, including myself, develop friendships and relationships with people who they can relate to and feel a connection with, even if they were on the opposite team. I never realized this, until my later years (being of drinking age of course), it is quite common to share a beer in the club house with your opposing position after the game. 

This sport has played a huge part in my life, developing me into the young woman I am today. I was fortunate enough to go quite far within this community. As I started playing when I was thirteen, it was only a few years before I got scouted for the National Senior Women’s Sevens Rugby Team. I packed up and moved to British Columbia when I was only sixteen years old and was a carded member of the national team for six years. I learned so much throughout those years, not only about the sport but about myself. I grew up in a very welcoming and supportive community, which helped me mature, learn to make critical decisions, be vulnerable, feel comfortable within my own skin and see situations from different points of view. I lived a whirlwind career, consisting of captaining our team to a Youth Olympic silver medal, following that being on the teams that brought home a Pan-American gold medal and an Olympic bronze medal. 

There are a lot of exciting things that I have experienced through out my career. But ultimately, I see myself simply as a member of the rugby community, being a player, coach, referee, and fan. I love the sport and believe there is so much it can teach us.

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