The women’s rugby team will have an interest meeting at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Baker Pattillo Student Center tiered meeting room.
The team started in 2016 but ended because there were not enough team members. This semester, the Women’s Rugby team President Cara Bailey, a sophomore psychology major from Splendora, took an initiative to start the team back up.
“I played it in high school and was very disappointed when I came to SFA to find they didn’t have a team anymore,” Bailey said. “At first, I accepted this, but later joined Rugby Little Sis on campus. A requirement of this club is to attend the men’s rugby practices, yet to my surprise the guys at the rugby field were more than welcome to let me practice with them. This started a spark for me to recruit other women interested and play again.”
Bailey said she started the team up from scratch in two weeks, and it was something she could never imagine doing. The process of starting the club involved what she said was “a lot of paperwork” and writing a constitution for the club. Next, the club assigned positions such as vice president, secretary and treasurer.
“I grew up in South Africa where rugby is really big,” Vice President Ellie Naudé, a junior animal science major from Pretoria, South Africa, said. “Both of my brothers played rugby all through high school, so I used to play with them in the backyard.”
Naudé and Bailey believe that there is a stereotype that rugby is a “man’s sport” and hope to remove that stigma by restarting the women’s rugby club.
“It’s comparable to football that some may say that girls aren’t tough enough to play it,” Bailey said. “Women aren’t seen as very physical human beings which gives the stereotype that sports that involve a lot of contact and tackling are deemed to
be more for men. This is a stereotype we hope to break on the SFA women’s rugby team by gaining women interested in rugby and playing it to our best extent. We also break this stereotype by practicing with the men’s rugby team to show that we are all capable of doing the same physical activity and sport activities no matter what gender or physical characteristics we have.”
The team’s coach Jayce Park, a junior family consumer science major from Huntsville, hopes the team is successful. He wants the team to set goals for themselves and achieve those goals.
“The team is a bunch of hard working girls that are ready to make a statement in Texas rugby,” Park said. “With the way things are going, the team’s chemistry is building, and before long, I can see them being like sisters. I feel like women’s rugby can build character and change lives for some of the girls that are wanting to play. In a world full of doubters, this is a way to prove them wrong.”
There is no game schedule, but the club’s main goal this semester is to have some women’s teams come out to the men’s rugby tournament in April.