Our February featured alumna is Cassie Slattery! Since leaving Michigan, Cassie has started a family and moved west, and she uses the skills she learned through UMWRFC every day. We are excited to share Cassie's reflections on her Michigan rugby experience below!
Years of Rugby Experience:
What have you been up to since graduation?
I worked for 15 years for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, focusing on fundraising and development. I have recently gotten my dream job as the Executive Director for the Utah Brewers Guild, advocating for craft breweries in Utah (yes, they do exist). I don't play rugby anymore, but I'm still active in a very Utah way - skiing, trail running, camping, etc. I also coach my daughter's soccer team (she's 7), and need to remind myself daily that encouraging 1st graders to scrum for the ball is generally frowned upon in youth sports.
Are there any lessons, skills, or memories from your time on the team have been helpful to you since then?
Rugby taught me to be absolutely fearless, and to overcome any kind of challenge. Playing rugby in the freezing rain, covered in mud, and down by 12 points taught me that I have the strength to keep going and keep kicking ass, no matter what I'm facing. Advocating for beer in Utah is not easy, but no matter what I face is definitely not as difficult as trying to plow through the forwards while someone is grabbing my ponytail and I'm churning through the mud. Rugby also taught me that no matter what battles you face on the field, it is so important to find common ground after the match and party together. You can play hard and play rough in the thick of the game, but it is so important to relax and bond after the battle is over, regardless of who has won the day.
What is your favorite Michigan rugby experience?
Road trips, by far. Piling into a huge van with 12 other sweaty, stinky, exhausted ruggers may not sound like the best time, but that was where friendships were formed and we learned to really connect as a team.
Do you have any advice for current ruggers?
The alumni team was so invaluable to me as an undergrad. I saw women who were out of college, pursuing their career paths and goals, while remaining connected to UM and giving guidance and advice to younger players. I went to alumni not just for advice on how the hell to play 7's on Pelee Island, but also for career path and life guidance as well. Use the alumni network - we are out here, even if we aren't in Ann Arbor anymore.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am so proud of my time in the UMWRFC. We were not the best team during my years of playing, but we always had a ton of fun. I wish the current ruggers the best of luck and GO BLUE!
Here are some pictures that Cassie has shared of UMWRFC from 1998-2000
UMWRFC collegiate team
UMWRFC Alumnae Team
Cassie, in her fullback days
Cassie and teammates, Emily Gochis, and Lizz Newell, playing 7’s on Pelee Island.
They wanted to play in maize dresses, but the officials wouldn't allow it.