Women’s rugby club ‘honored’ by and ‘respect’ athletes before them

Jasmine Casimir // Asst. Sports Director

It has been almost 200 years since women started engaging in sports, specifically rugby. The first women’s rugby team was established in 1881, and unfortunately endured violent treatment as men did not agree that women should be playing a man’s sport.

Now, you can find a women’s rugby team on almost every college campus, and Kerri Ann Elaise, a leader of FIU’s women’s rugby club, said she respects the struggle that took place in order for her to be where she is.

“I’m honestly honored that they paved the way for us to play freely now,” said Kerri Ann Elaise, a prop on the women’s rugby team. “I respect what they went through to get here, and we also have the support from the guys as they have our backs.”

Though women have come a long way to play in the sport, there are still people who believe that it’s too rough of a sport for women to be involved in.

Ivan Henry, a sophomore majoring in communication arts, said it’s bigger than just the sport being a man’s sport.

“Unless you’re conditioning right and are actually prepared for the possible hits you will take in the game, then I don’t think they should be playing in it,” said Henry.

Yes, rugby is a contact sport, which almost every sport is. But that’s the exact reason why there are practices and warm ups so that injuries can be prevented.

“It’s a lot of contact involved which is why we have the team doing activities outside of practice,” said Elaise. “There are set training schedules for everyone just so that they can be prepared and well trained.”

When I used to play flag football, the first month of our practices consisted of conditioning before we were even taught any plays. Once we got closer to the season, that’s when we were learning techniques and plays.

Selena Everitt, a sophomore majoring in political science major and a forward on the women’s rugby team, said proper form is the biggest lesson when at practice.

“We’re taught how to tackle and how to take a tackle, so if you practice and practice then it becomes muscle memory,” said Everitt. “You would only sustain an injury if there is a miscommunication with a play and your form failed.”

Tragic accidents do happen in sports, as in many other walks of life, which shouldn’t be taken lightly. To suggest that women shouldn’t play rugby – or any sport at that – is to say we’re the weaker sex.

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