My Rugby journey began as a sideline supporter for the Chilliwack Crusaders back in early 2018. Prior to 2018, I had no idea what Rugby was; I went to a private school and our sports programs never exceeded basketball, soccer, volleyball, or golf.
After high school, I got into a relationship with my partner, Patrick, who played for the Crusaders as a lock or flanker at the time. Early on I was invited out to watch his games. I was horrified at first: why were these guys running into each other full tilt and yelling at each other? Absolute chaos, I thought. A few months later, Patrick asked if I would ever consider playing women’s rugby. My response? Absolutely not.
Fast forward a few years later to summer 2020. I was getting massage treatment from my RMT and friend Landry, when she told me she wanted to get some people together to learn the basics of Rugby and play touch. She asked me if I was interested. I hesitated, but ultimately decided ‘yes’ on her assurance of “no contact.”
Patrick encouraged me (and still does!) to go when I had doubts. He is incredibly supportive of me playing. It progressed from there: summer evenings were spent playing Touch Rugby, learning the basics of passing (it took me a while to get used to running forwards and passing backwards), sharing laughs, and of course, running, which was my favourite part.
“We have a group of amazing women who consistently show up and we work together. Our numbers and confidence are increasing.”
We had a small group of people committed to learning having fun. I learned early on that I am a good sprinter, so I started training as a winger. In September 2021, Landry asked if I was interested in trying to help form a Women’s Rugby team with the Crusaders. I said yes, and we, the pioneer group who started playing touch in the summers, registered, declared a team, and then began training for our first official half season in 2022.
There was a lot to learn, and the shift from Touch Rugby to contact Rugby was a bit of a struggle for me. But with dedication, exposure, and more importantly, support from my team and my partner, I was able to come out of my shell and let some of my natural talent shine.
February 2022 was our first game and I am so proud to say that we have grown so much as a new team since then. We have a group of amazing women who consistently show up and we work together. Our numbers and confidence are increasing; as my confidence grew on the field, I started training and playing as #9 and have been thriving in that position.
Overall, I can say that Rugby has helped me feel empowered in my physical and cognitive abilities while at the same time providing a sense of community and in a way, a sense of purpose: I mean, cardio has to count towards something, right?