It’s a Saturday morning. It’s 5:00am. There’s a car packed full of gear – and girls. Sitting in the back of this car, amidst this chaos, you can’t help but notice one thing: A rookie rugger, half asleep, singing Adele’s “Hello.” This young vocalist is Zoe Martin. Zoe is a freshman studying nursing. Having moved to Ann Arbor this year for school, she’s a long way from home in Buffalo, NY. Being a member of UMWRFC has allowed Zoe to bond with other students, make new friends and establishing a support system here in Ann Arbor. As any rugby player would agree, playing rugby also allows Zoe to let out steam. When she’s not rugging or sitting in class, she’s bound to be on the fourth floor of the UGLi or on the Diag, where interesting happenings always unfold.
While Zoe has her study spots picked out, Alison
Burnell settles for any spot where she can sit with her laptop. Alison, another rookie rugger, is a sophomore studying art and design. Alison hops between eight different university clubs on a daily basis, so she takes any study spot she can snag. After deciding that volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball, and cross country weren’t enough, she joined UMWRFC this year.
Several other of this season’s rookies joined as a result of having friends on the existing team while others, like Zoe and Allison, joined out of curiosity and the desire to play a tougher sport.
Most of this season's rookies also said they value the team environment above all else and the fact that they can openly share their struggles on or off the field. Sophomore Lily Kovach mentioned that "learning how to tackle and ruck” has been her greatest struggle thus far; most girls join the team with not previous knowledge about the sport or its rules. This means all the girls can relate to this struggle and learn from each other about how to improve.
Regardless of what drove them to check rugby out in the first place and the challenges they may face as new players, this semester's rookies have expressed that it was their desire to become a part of the UMWRFC family that as kept them coming back for more! And what a great addition to the family they have been!!