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Women’s rugby returns to Tech

March 26, 2015

 

RACHEL MAXWELL
Staff Reporter

 

When a student thinks about on-campus clubs, they are probably not envisioning viciously tackling opponents to the ground, locking bodies to form a seven-person human battering ram or throwing members into the air to catch a high-flying ball.

 

However, if a women’s rugby club is re-established at Louisiana Tech, that is exactly what a meeting will look like. With help from the men’s rugby club, a group of women are working to gain enough interest and support to make that scenario a reality.

 

Kiersten Farke, a junior studio art major, said her interest in starting a women’s club was sparked by conversations she had with some of the male players about the sport.

 

“I watched some videos, did some research,” Farke said. “My initial thought was, ‘Wow, this is intense,’ but it looked like such a rush, and I thought ‘this is my time.’”

 

Farke soon began recruiting other girls around campus, like junior professional aviation major Andrea Ziervogel.

 

“I’m so excited to meet all the girls who are okay with getting a little rough on the pitch and to have a group of girls that love the sport like I do,” Ziervogel said.

 

Having grown up watching rugby with her family, Ziervogel was already familiar with the game, unlike most students.

 

“If you don’t know how to play, that’s fine, most of the girls don’t yet,” Farke told a group of girls at an interest meeting on March 19.

 

While the girls see lack of knowledge of the sport as an obstacle they can overcome, it did play a role in disbanding the original women’s rugby club at Tech.

 

A lesser-known sport in the South, rugby football was played by Tech women up until 2010, when the club’s coach left the university. Gaby Davis, a former member, said if more people knew about the sport, they may not have had to abandon the club.

 

“There was no one else on campus that understood the game as well as she had, she went to workshops and everything, so when she left to pursue a job in California, there was no replacement,” Davis said.

 

Davis said one of the reasons she believes the club can be restarted now is the support the men’s rugby team is offering the women.

 

Isaiah Prater, a player on the men’s rugby team for the past three years, said they are excited about the women’s club because it means expansion of the sport.

 

“Other than the team, nobody really knows anything about rugby,” Prater, a senior aviation major, said. “With a women’s club, people with know it’s a co-ed sport, and realize that anybody and everybody can play if they put in the effort.”

 

Farke and the other girls have dreams of becoming a NCAA team eventually, but are currently focusing on more short-term goals.

 

“I want to find girls who really are excited to come and play,” Farke said. “It won’t be too time-consuming at first, but we need dedication. That way we could become an official club by fall quarter; that’s the goal.”

 

Email comments to ram049@latech.edu.

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