This semester at Emory & Henry College, a women’s rugby club has been started by some students here on campus. Rugby is a contact sport that is very popular elsewhere in the world and is gaining traction in the United States, especially on college campuses. There has been a men’s rugby club on campus for a while and it is under their charter that the women’s team is currently operating.
So far, the women’s club has been sharing practice time and equipment with the men’s club. Sophomore E&H student and women’s club member Kaelee Belletto spoke about how the process of establishing the club has been going so far.
“Right now to do full contact we have to be certified by USA Rugby which we are in the process of receiving and then each member needs to be CIPP insured which kind of insures against any catastrophic events,” said Belletto. She went on to talk about how as a team they still needed to decide whether to participate in Seven’s rugby or full sided games. The two different styles have similar rules, but differ in how many players can be on the field at any given time.
“I have been surprised by the amount of girls able to commit to it. I wasn’t expecting even a Seven’s squad and now we have 11 girls coming out regularly and are now looking at fielding a fully outfitted team,” said Belletto.
As a club, the group has yet to decide on which conference to play in. However, Belletto said that they are currently leaning towards the Carolina Conference. The group also has yet to decide on whether they want to pursue becoming a separate club with their own charter or continuing to operate as an affiliate of the Men’s rugby club.
“Realistically we have the opportunity to play in Seven’s tournaments by the end of the semester, and could be playing in conference matches by next semester,” stated Belletto. Anyone interested in getting involved in the Women’s Rugby Club can contact Hailey Ellis.
– Ethan King