Recruiting and My First Pride

We’re in the midst of a recruiting run here. Our team was low on numbers to begin with and now we’re facing some more losses for school, moves, retirements and new jobs that take up some weekends.

So we’re recruiting. I also wanted to make sure I had events to send recruits to because our touch rugby is over for the summer. Our Wisconsin men’s team started their team practices yesterday, but we don’t start for another few weeks yet (Aug. 14).

I thought it would be a good idea to just have once-weekly “clinics” for recruits, so that is what we are doing for three weeks until our Memorial Tournament on Aug. 11 and then our team practices start.

Additionally, this past weekend I attended my first-ever gay pride event. Regular readers of this blog know that I am straight. To quote one of my gay teammates once, the “straightest straight girl I’ve ever met”. But some of my closest friends and teammates are gay or bi. And in all honesty, you can’t play too long in the rugby world with out making lots of gay friends. 🙂

But despite all of this, I had never attended a Pride event. And we need new players!! So when I heard that our new gay men’s rugby team – the Madison Minotaurs – were going to be at Pride recruiting, I jumped on that bandwagon for our team to join them in recruiting, a rugby 101 clinic and touch rugby.

I only worked on Sunday, with one of my other straight teammates and one of my bi teammates who is currently dating a guy. But every female that attended Pride Sunday knew about our team, knew we were having Intro to Rugby clinics and had a flier in hand, to such a degree that we were literally tailing women through the crowds to make sure they heard our spiel on rugby. By the end of the weekend, we had signed up 36 interested recruits to receive more information about rugby and our clinics.

Last night, Tuesday, was our first clinic and we had three recruits attend. Considering I had only been able to e-mail the list about the clinic yesterday morning, I was pleased to see three and am hoping for even more over the next two weeks of clinics.

Of our three recruits, one was from Pride (who I remembered talking to directly!), one was somebody who heard about our team on her own and one was a former college player who’s been trying to find time to play for us since last spring. They were all natural athletes and excited.

Our VP and I just did some really basic things like passing a ball, running a backline and running in-line, then some wrapping on our knees, and some light kicking. We figure if people come back for repeated clinics, we can build on it and then our official team practices will obviously take it up a notch.

The Minotaurs also did really well in recruiting. These guys have only been going since March, but they’re getting ready for their first fall season of games. I have been happy to hear from them that other gay rugby teams are surprised to hear about the support they are receiving from our men’s and women’s team here in Madison. I’m not surprised at all, but then I know that we have an awesome city and an awesome rugby community.

And if you’re reading this and want to attend one of our rugby clinics, we have two more left:

– Tuesday, July 31, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
– Tuesday, July 31, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Both will be held at Franklin Park, on Olin Avenue, next to Madison’s city swimming pool.

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2 Comments

Filed under Madison Minotaurs, recruiting, WWRFC

2 responses to “Recruiting and My First Pride

  1. jim_gayrugby

    Hey Blondie,

    Thanks for the Minotaurs mention. It was a pleasure hanging out at the joint pride recruiting extravaganza. I’m glad you guys are getting results from it already.

  2. Nursedude

    I think of my aunt who is in her mid 60’s. Growing up gay in Minnesota in the 50’s/early 60’s was no picnic. At school girls did not have interscholastic sports, they had GAA, she wanted to work with tools and engines, and she was not allowed to take shop, as that was just for guys. I know she would have enjoyed a rough and tumble sport like rugy if that had been available to women. My aunt is coming to the US next month(she lives in Australia). She is just one of the nicest and funniest people I know. Whenever I hear people make homophobic or use the term like “Dyke”, I think about if it can be that bad now, how lonely and isolating it had to be to be a lesbian during that time. I think it’s great that women feel empowered to do contact sports and be out, if they choose.

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