Joining a rugby school, I fully immersed myself into the sport without knowing how to pass the ball, tackle or any of the rules, much less know anyone I was playing with. However, it soon became clear quite early on that the sport required tremendous trust in teammates, high level of fitness but most importantly the mentality to want to give it your all.
Those strangers that I played with at the age of 11 are still the closest friends I have to this day, and although fitness can drop, the mental strength to motivate yourself through hard times have stuck. The game has taught me more than just rugby, it has taught me discipline, hard work, communication skills, and most importantly, rugby has given me more confidence in and out of the white lines on the grass.
For me, rugby is more than a game; it’s a culture, spoilt with self-growth and opportunity.
I may not always have had the love for rugby as I do today. What seemed like a catastrophic sport, had to start for me when I joined a military boarding school in 2008 aged 14. I remember my very first training session which was on a cold, wet and windy Wednesday afternoon but little did I know, I would passionately love this sport later on. I went on to play for my School’s First XV team and then to my University’s First XV team – continually learning and growing from the sport’s requirements and values.
Now I work in a Management Consulting firm in the city (London) but I would like to turn this passion around to something great. I can envisage Cause of Rugby being that platform to deliver this passion to others around me: helping them grow the way rugby allowed me to grow. I may not play rugby emphatically now but I happen to find myself going back to my school every year on remembrance weekend to play as an old boy… on a cold November Saturday.
I didn’t know much about rugby until about 5 years ago. Before that I engaged in Martial arts such as Muay Thai, boxing and so on. I was introduced to rugby around 2013. 2014 I began working for Rugby World Cup 2015, my love for the sport grew more, not long after starting at Rugby World Cup 2015 store I began playing for a local team and then my university team. I feel lucky to have experienced game time with both rugby union and league which, to me is the best of both worlds.
Rugby does have it’s ups and downs. Especially with all the injuries, blood, sweat and tears I put towards the love of Rugby, I have never surrendered from the sport because of the strong bond between me and my team mates. I have made some life long friends through Rugby on and off the pitch – best sport I have ever engaged in by far.
Rugby is more than just a game. No other sport gives so much more than just competition. My lifelong friendships and brotherhoods were built on a rugby pitch and will continue to be for as long as I play.
I started playing rugby when I was 11 years old. At this time, the score was irrelevant. It was all about learning discipline, teamwork and camaraderie, ultimately getting me to where I am today (both professionally and personally). As I developed through the years I learned more skills and became more competitive. By the time I was 16 I was playing rugby for my teammates, rather than just with them.
Now, working as a rugby coach full time, I find myself on the other side of the touchline. Still, all of those values still remain paramount for me. My love of the game as strong as ever. Not to forget the post match beers.
My first memories of rugby are sat in the living room with my dad watching England on TV. I received my first rugby ball at around the age of 4/5 and still remember being taught to pass by my dad and uncle.
I was lucky enough to join The Duke of York’s Royal Military School in 2005, aged 11, and started playing full-contact representing the school as a ‘Dukie’. I learned a lot from the coaches and older boys – not only the basic skills but the social skills around rugby also. These formative years gave me an idea of what respect, integrity and determination really meant, all through rugby.
Today, I still play leading our Old Boys team as Team Captain, which has been a traditional part of being an old boy and a Dukie. The social side of rugby has stayed with me and I continue to play for local/various invitational teams. I would recommend starting to play rugby to boys and girls/men and women anywhere because of what it has done for me.
As a young kid my rugby experiences started by playing pick up games of rugby in the park, kids from all over the neighbourhood would come out to play. We’d start out with 3 vs 3 and as people would see us playing they’d come join, it would end up being a full self refereed 15 vs 15.
Back then all I thought rugby was was to run away from the big guys when you had the ball, and go for the ankles when they had the ball. 17 years on and not much has changed besides my love and desire for the game goes above and beyond anything else.
Starting off just playing pick up games in south England’s local parks, my love for rugby now has me playing in Dallas, Texas for the Dallas Reds. And if rugby wasn’t the sport that it is, I’d never have been able to be where I am today.
A rugby club creates an incredible environment where you play with 14 other players who for 80 minutes put their bodies on the line for you and you do the same which creates a sort of family bond where you would do anything for one an other, and this spills off the field too.
I remember not enjoying the sport and didn’t think it was for me. Then one day… BAM! My secondary school teacher bribed me into playing a tournament for my school.
I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the game. The physical part of rugby gave me an adrenaline rush and enjoyed it all the way through (I don’t think the other kids did). It felt like I was made for rugby and rugby was made for me. After the tournament, I had different coaches come up to me asking me to play for their club but I had no clue where to go.
I found my way into Blackheath Rugby Club and continued playing and loving the sport for 7 years. After completing my tenure at Blackheath, I flew out to Zambia where I coached rugby and help build schools. This gave me a new love for the sport and I will continue to help others and coach after I finish my University degree.
It’s another regular Saturday morning for a 9 year old kid. He goes through his usual
weekend routine to make pancakes for breakfast and turns on the TV to watch his fix of ‘Tracy Beaker’ and ‘Mona the Vampire’. However, on that morning he would not be able to watch his regular shows as another event was given broadcasting priority.
Upset and frustrated he thought about switching the TV off. Instead, the kid chose to spend the next 2 hours trying to figure out why the football is egg shaped and why they are using their hands.
As the match is coming to a close the defining moment happens: “This is the one, its coming back for Jonny Wilkinson…”
He drops for World Cup glory… “IT’S UP, IT’S OVER, HE’S DONE IT!”
The kid jumping up and down in joy may not completely understand how this game
works but, he does know that he wants to be a part of it. This was the moment he wasÂ introduced to Rugby. The passion, leadership, teamwork and loyalty demanded by the game of Rugby was something that resonated with his values.
I was lucky enough to gain opportunities to play the sport at school and university and now I am looking to provide such opportunities to others. The values and experience gained through playing Rugby has helped me become the man I am today.
As an Engineer in a large organization I constantly draw on the lessons and interpersonal skills learnt through playing Rugby.
I believe that kid made the right choice.
“Rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen” – Winston Churchill
Growing up playing sports like Football and Basketball in Nepal, I couldn’t resonate too much with Churchill’s quote. It all changed when I first took part in Rugby during early school days when I was around 13 years old. Best thing about this was the bond I built with my team mates. And till this date, we are still good friends.
As I carried on playing Rugby, I fell in love more with the game and the culture that came with it. Churchill’s quote started to make more sense because we (and the opposition) would physically batter each other on the pitch but laugh about it at the club house over a pint (or two) sometimes even three or four. Churchill’s quote gives me the pleasure to proudly classify myself as a gentleman.
I am far from being a ‘natural’ rugby player, I am okay at a number of different sports, but rugby is certainly not one of them. With that being said, I have always enjoyed playing rugby.
I relished the moments where there are shared emotions amongst the team – whether it be exaltation of winning a tough match or the disappointment of losing a game in the last moments – these sorts of moments transcend all levels of the game and create a real bond and camaraderie between the team.
I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience this through rugby and I fully support Cause of Rugby to bring the best out of young people both in the UK and in Nepal.
Never had I played, nor touched a rugby ball until my first year in boarding school where rugby was considered as the main BIG sport. It has allowed me to gain self confidence massively, driven me to initiate my fitness career and most importantly: allowed me to meet and make tons of unforgettable memories with a great bunch of boys who I have played alongside or against. However – not only that, rugby has most certainly also given me a fine advantage to score on & OFF the pitch too – which is always a bonus! 😉
I feel extremely blessed to have played for a prestigious rugby school in my youth, then to move on to play for my university and also for the Army Officer Training Corps. It has been a privilege to be a part of rugby’s offering and I believe with what the – Cause of Rugby – campaign has to offer, we can make the same happen in Nepal and provide the same opportunities. We want to take the movement to young athletes out there that are hungry to be immersed in this beautiful sport.
I never thought of rugby being the type of sport I would have such passion, love and enjoyment for. I began playing Rugby since 2008 when I first joined the Duke of York’s Royal Military School (DOYRMS) in Year 7. The first couple of weeks of training sessions were daunting to say the least as me and majority of my friends had never touched a rugby ball before. Through practice and good coaching we were able to improve our skills and slowly start to develop and become better rugby players.
Over my 7 years of playing rugby at DOYRMS, I was not only able to win accolades individually and as a team but made great friends, built skills in teamwork and discipline along the way. When I am available, I am regularly attending old boyâ€™s weekend back at DOYRMS where we play rugby as old Dukies against the local Dover RFC – an event full of great fun and healthy competition.
People might see rugby as a boring sport where players just constantly run into each other. Rugby is much more than that, there are numerous sub-components within a game of rugby which makes it a skillful sport from different positions, rules, tactics, types of kicking and passing.
Rugby also has numerous health benefits: builds strength; improves flexibility, cardio and mental health; increases self-confidence; develops speed and endurance.
I am glad I’m a Rugby player.
I remember my first ever session – in a development team. No clue nor had I ever heard about rugby but I’ve always been a chubby-handsome-overweight kid and that did me justice back in my youth years. I remember receiving the ball and being told to run at the other team. And at that moment, when I demolished the other kids, I genuinely thought I had this power within me – like a superhero – with super strength.
However, much as I loved being a superhero for sometime, I slowly realised teamwork is a big necessity in this sport. I couldn’t smash my opposition every single game – but with a little cooperation from my brothers – anything was possible. The feeling afterwards is indefinable – words can’t describe how sensational it is.
I will forever be in debt to rugby for it has allowed me to meet some of the most inspirational people and playing with them has been a blessing. The memories I’ve made with them will forever stay in my heart. Shout out to all of them, you know who you are. Big love from the Samoan beast/Celo. 😉
I am truly privileged to be part of this promising cause and excited to see what the future holds for what is: an incredible campaign. Samoan beast over and out, catch ya later. 😉
To me Rugby is not, ‘just another sport’ but a lifestyle. I remember first taking part at my secondary school in 2005; I would have never imagined to still be so hooked to rugby till this date. It all started from taking part and the beauty of the sport unveiled as I learnt the art of passing, tackling, running lines and especially teamwork.
A rugby game may seem disastrous to one but once you get to know the sport, youâ€™ll be surprised with the amount of technical knowledge required to implement within the game.
The love for the game kept me going after school and I carried on playing for my university. I’m currently playing scrum-half for my local club Ashford Rugby Football Club. The best part of this sport is the bond you build with your team mates week in and week out.