“I would say rugby is unlike any other sport in the fact that anybody can play,” according to first year Club President Kim Nguyen. “Don’t be intimidated. Give me one practice and one game. You will be hooked.”
Since Nguyen’s freshman year of college, she has always wanted to play. Her sister got her into rugby at an Oregon Sports Union practice. Ever since that first practice four years ago, she hasn’t looked back.
“I was always an aggressive athlete and was looking for a sport where I can better channel all my aggression. It was either that or lacrosse. I chose rugby,” Nguyen said.
The success of the PSU Women’s Rugby Club team has validated her decision.
“On the field you are getting thrown around, getting smashed, getting hurt, and you are literally doing that for your team. You are physically putting yourself at risk for these girls you consider your family,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen embraces the contact from rugby and the bonding after the matches. This traditional social allows teams to unwind and bond with other rugby players from other schools. “It is a lifestyle and not just a sport,” Nguyen said.
Rugby debuted as a club at Portland State in 2004. On Mondays from 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m. at the Peter Stott W. Center turf field, you will see the PSU Women’s Rugby Club team practice alongside their coaches.
Nguyen stated that the team’s goals would be “to recruit, sustain what we have been doing, build our club, more club leaders and make sure the responsibilities are disperse. So that next year it is run more effectively.”
The women’s rugby club is coming off a fall term where they won all of their matches while only dropping one game to Southern Oregon. In order to fill a full side, they need 15 members. These 15-on-15 matches included wins over Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, Western Oregon University, Willamette University and Pacific University. These home matches are played at the Peter W. Stott Field.
The coaching staff is attributed to their success. They have been committed to the cause, been present and a consistent influence for the club team. Their coaches will work with new members to make sure they get acclimated to the fundamentals of the sport.
Membership has been steadily increasing for the club team. Nguyen has put in a lot of extra miles for the club and wants her passion to spread to others as well. The continued turnaround of the club has led to a long term goal of playing in a league with the hopes of a stable team.
Upcoming dates for the PSU Women’s Rugby Club include a tournament in Eugene and the Babbfest. The tournament is named after Lindsey Babb, an ORSU rugby player who was tragically murdered in 2010, and features all of the Pacific Northwest collegiate teams in a celebration of the sport. PSU plays their first official game against Western Oregon University next week on the road. The club team will also get to play Gonzaga University on the road later in the year.