A Look Into Our Girl’s Rugby

Maddi Ruscoe

One Sport at HSE that is not talked about enough is rugby. At HSE and Fishers, students have the option to combine and join one Mudsock team. Women’s rugby is unique because of its physicality, which is usually discouraged in female sports. Previous player, Kristy Minchev, and current athlete Ellie Kim have some things to say about their experiences. Both athletes said they started playing because they knew someone that played or was invited to try it out. Instantly, it was clear that they found a community that stuck. “The adrenaline from making tackles and being in contact is exhilarating, and it brings out an aggressive side that in people that they may have never known about before,” Minchev explains. To her, one of the best things about playing rugby is the contact. Everyone that plays the sport is bound to fall in love with it. Kim says something similar. “Every single game and practice gets your adrenaline going. It’s fun to be aggressive and tackle especially since most girl sports don’t include that.” On top of this, rugby isn’t advertised as much as most athletes wish it was. HSE doesn’t promote it as a school sport, so it keeps the sport underground in this area. This also causes a low student section at games, leaving the teams with little support. The team isn’t able to practice at one of the schools either because there are no fields reserved for them. Instead, they practice at Cyntheanne Park or Brooks School Park. Kim states, “It is also so fun to bond with other girl rugby teams because we are all trying to make a name for the sport, especially women’s sports.” Just like any other sport, girl’s rugby is very inclusive, and is naturally a very bonding sport. The closest sport to girl’s rugby in the US would be powderpuff, (women’s football) which is played with flags, not tackling. Although some aspects of the game may seem a bit intimidating and confusing, the girls assure that it is a great sport to pick up, and is surprisingly, a good support system. “It’s a great sport to pick up even if you never had any prior experience. The coaches and teammates are very understanding, helpful, and eager to teach new players,” Kim says. She explains how her Mudsock team really needs more girls to grow the team and community, so it is encouraged for more women to look into it. Also, it never hurts to try something new! Although Minchev is taking a break from rugby this year to focus on work and school, she still had an amazing time playing for the Mudsock team and fully suggests and encourages new and experienced players to join. She says, “We are always looking to recruit new players, and rugby is a rapidly growing sport. It’s a great outlet, a fascinating game, and an opportunity to join a passionate community, learn and make new friends.” Playing a sport like this is great for empowering women and giving an opportunity for all types of people to share something so special together.