Student
    University Women's Rugby Club runs on camaraderie, technical skill and a commitment to the community.

    CLUB SPOTLIGHT: WOMEN'S RUGBY

    University Women's Rugby Club runs on camaraderie, technical skill and a commitment to the community.
    September 13, 2022
    In a new series, Royal News will spotlight clubs from the university’s 80+ student organizations on campus, speak to members, and offer information on how to connect with the clubs.

    To suggest suggest a club for a future Royal News article, share ideas, or to inform us of any upcoming club events, please email RoyalNews@scranton.edu or Gabriella.petti@scranton.edu

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    GET INVOLVED

    Club: University of Scranton Women’s Rugby Club, Scranton Valkyries
    Meet:
    Natalie Tiu, '22, a kinesiology major from Metuchen, NJ, #7 shown in the photo, above.
    Connect:
    Follow the club at on Instagram @uofswomensrugby  

     

    By: Gabriella Petti ’24, student correspondent



    Q: Why did you join the rugby club?

    "I played sports my entire life leading up to college, and wanted to continue to stay active and play a sport competitively. I missed the dynamic of a team, and knew that a close-knit team like rugby was something that I wanted for my college experience."

    Q: What does a typical practice look like?

    "A typical practice is one to two hours. We don’t have a coach, so our practices are run by our four captains elected by the previous year’s team.

    At the beginning of the season, we go over technical skills, like throwing, tackling, rucking, scrumming, because most players who join have no rugby experience. We teach how to safely perform each skill necessary for the game. As the season moves forward, we hone those skills and add game strategy. Everyone wants to succeed and improve, so they are open to critique from the captains and veteran teammates.

    We tend to end practices with scrimmages and rugby games, which helps build trust within the team. Trust is a big component of rugby because each member has to rely on each other to make their tackles, make the pass, hold each other up in the scrum and be successful on the pitch. Having strong team chemistry sets teams apart from each other. We make sure to build on it at each practice."

    Q: What is the best part about Scranton rugby?

    "The camaraderie is definitely the best part about this team. There are lots of times when we’re just cracking jokes and having fun because it’s a safe environment to be yourself and make mistakes, yet be supported when you’re successful. At the end of the day we’re friends as well as teammates. Whether on the rugby pitch or around campus, being on this team means you’re part of a community, and the team dynamic is a big reason why I stayed on the team throughout college."

    Q: What is your most memorable moment from the sport?

    "Every spring, we participate in a tournament that fundraises for Becca’s Closet, an organization that donates formal dresses to high school students who can’t afford them. The tournament is called the “Prom Dress Tournament” and we play in old or thrifted dresses. is such a unique experience getting to run and tackle in dresses. Our team has so much fun, and winds down after a long and competitive season."

    Q: Who is your rugby inspiration, and why?

    "Ilona Maher. She was on the USA Olympic Rugby team last summer. She really got people talking about the sport and gave  exposure to rugby in the U.S. through her TikTok reels."

    Q: What are your team’s goals for the season?

    "Our goals for the season are to learn and feel comfortable playing 15s, a type of rugby we haven’t played since before the pandemic. Also to build our team chemistry by creating an atmosphere of friendship, and to continue to grow our organization."

    Q: What is the most important thing you want people to know about your club?

    "Everyone is welcome to join, we are very inclusive. Even if you’ve never played rugby, or any sports for that matter, all are welcome. We just ask that you come with an open mind and give it a try!"

    women-rugby-fundraiser.jpgDuring a Women's Rugby Club “Prom Dress Tournament” each spring, the group raises funds for Becca’s Closet, an organization that donates formal dresses to high school students who can’t afford them, said Natalie Tiu, '22, shown, top row center, wearing orange. Club members play in old or thrifted dresses.
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