Current status: Battered, bruised but worth it.
As I’m writing this blog post, I am currently lying in bed with every muscle, bone, and limb of my body aching. Today I played my third rugby match with the UL Ladies Rugby team and loved every moment of it. (No pain, no gain, right?)
My family have always been big rugby fans. I grew up going to Munster matches with my father who, in his day, played rugby with Garryowen Rfc. I was always a sporty girl growing up, but stuck to G.A.A mainly. In secondary school, I began playing tag rugby which I grew to love but all I wanted was to have a go at the real game! I stuck with tag rugby for the six years. But a broken wrist and 2 surgeries later, no wonder my mother didn’t want me to play full contact! (Also a month before my Leaving Cert! Great timing, eh?)
When I came to UL, I decided that life is too short to give up on something you love so I decided to give rugby a go. I had never played full-contact rugby before so it was a whole new ball game to me. I was a newbie to the team with very little experience, only knowledge from watching games. I was so nervous starting out. I felt clueless! But all of the girls and coaches were so welcoming to us newbies, and helped us so much to learn the rules and plays. We are so lucky to have two great coaches to guide us, Fiona Reidy and Niamh Kavanagh. At the beginning, I was on information overload but bit by bit, I grasped, (and still am grasping!) the rules of the game. We’ve been split into Junior and Senior teams, and I am happy to be on the Junior team for the time being while I learn the ropes, but hope to make the Senior team one day.
So far I’ve played in matches against Tallaght IT, Waterford IT and NUI Maynooth, and won every time! I scored my first try for ULLR against Tallaght IT, and again today against NUI Maynooth! (Hopefully many more to come!) I still get funny looks from people when I tell them that I play rugby, but some people forget you don’t have to be big or tall to play in the backs line! I play the position of Inside Centre or Wing.
Therefore, I have no regrets in joining ULLR this year! I would definitely encourage everyone to join a team, club or society because not only is it great craic, you meet so many new people who share your interests. I’m still learning the ropes every week at training but loving every second of it! I’m really excited learn more and see myself improve over time. Today was a great day for ULLR as both Junior and Senior teams won their matches. The Junior team beat NUI Maynooth with a final score of 57-15!