The women’s rugby club has become active again after a hiatus due to lack of players from previous years.
The women’s rugby club was formed in January 2017 after the men’s rugby club formed in 2015. The rugby teams started as an organization with SGA and then worked with athletics to become a club sport. Neither the women’s or men’s teams are sponsored by ACU athletics but do have an active sponsor from campus.
James Scudder, associate director of Alpha Scholars Program and McNair Scholar, is the active sponsor for both the men’s and women’s rugby teams. In addition to Scudder, both of the rugby teams work with volunteer coach Kevin Phillipson.
The women’s rugby club is accepting new members whether they know how to play or not and does not have a limit on how many women can join.
“We don’t have recruiting or tryouts, so we encourage people that have never played before to come out,” said Tristin Reynolds, junior management major from San Saba. “It’s actually fun and easy to learn.”
In order to become part of the team, prospective members need to show up to weekly practices.
“In order to join, there’s no special process you have to go through,” Reynolds said. “You just show up to one of our practices and say you want to play and if you keep showing up and we see that you’re committed, then you’re on the team.”
Once a student has made the team, they will take part in weekly practices, running and weightlifting at the rec and CrossFit-like training at The Forge in Southside Abilene.
In addition to practices and training, members must also pay dues to play. Dues include $200 for the team, which can be brought down to $100 if you have a ref certification for rugby, and $115 to register for the USA Rugby National Organization.
“[Registering with the USA Rugby National Organization] will get you insurance just in case you get hurt or hurt another player.” Reynolds said.
Rugby has gained attention in the U.S. for the past decade and has grown in popularity by 82.4% since 2011 according to Rugby Warfare.
“I wanted to try something new and rugby was becoming more and more popular,” Hannah Holst, sophomore nursing major from San Antonio said. “I liked the idea of being able to play a sport where it wasn’t just touch or flag.”
To learn more about the women’s rugby club, contact Tristin Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org or Celeste Sanchez at email@example.com.
“Rugby can come off as a tough guy sport, but it’s not like that at all,” Reynolds said. “One of my best friends came out to play, she weighs 110 pounds and she’s one of the best players on the team.”