By Victoria Gaikwad
It was a cold night out in BA but it was heated on the field. As I was sitting on top of the car, with a warm blanket wrapped around me, the girls of Bixby rugby did not let the frigid weather stop them. It was roughly seven o’clock in the morning, and there was barely any light outside. All I could hear was the colliding of heads and bodies. The yelling of profanities just added more heat to the game itself.
“Rugby is kind of an overlooked sport, especially girls rugby.” says Ali Brown (11). “People think it is just a boys sport because of the intensity and rough play, but we go pretty hard too.”
A major goal is being able to overcome the stereotypes of rugby. It’s a way to get out all the anger that’s pent up inside, and put it to good use. Girls have historically been denied the chance to compete in contact sports. You don’t really ever see a girl playing football, but now is the chance for girls to show that they are capable.
According to the New York Times, “women make up the fastest-growing segment of rugby players in the United States. With youth programs still in their infancy and rugby becoming an Olympic sport in 2016, the future of the sport in this country depends on club teams like the one here at this 3,600-student university in northeast Nebraska.”
“It is a big family of loving and very protective girls,” says Brown. “When you look at us you would be surprised by half of the team.”
The games don’t typically last very long. Each game is only roughly 14 minutes, but each minute is gruesome, and filled with lots of yelling and heat. These girls are the type to get knocked down, rub some dirt in it, and get right back up. They let nothing and no one stop them.
Although they may look fierce and intimidating, these are the most down-to-earth girls I have ever met. Their love for rugby really shows that they will not succumb to stereotypes.