Women’s rugby team forming in ToledoWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
Izzy Robinson played rugby as an undergraduate in Massachusetts. Now, as a graduate student at the University of Toledo, she is starting a women’s team in Toledo.
There have been teams for women in Toledo in the past, but usually do not last.
“There are usually three things people [use as] excuses for not wanting to do it: one, they don’t know what it is and they’re not willing to find out. Two, they don’t want to get hurt and three, they’re not in good shape for a sport,” Robinson said.
Robinson added that the many rules do not take away from the fun of the game.
“Rugby’s complicated, I’m not going to lie … even for me and I’ve been playing, this is my third year, and there’s a lot of things that I don’t know,” she said. “I’m still confused about things, but the game is still fun.”
Robinson also said there is no body type that can’t play rugby.
“There [are] 30 girls on the field,” she said. “That’s 15 different positions per team that we need different skillsets, we need different body shapes and sizes.”
In order to create the team, Robinson approached the Toledo men’s team, the Toledo Celtics, who offered to serve as referees or coaches for the women’s team if Robinson got a team together. The men’s team, which recently celebrated its 40th season, also offered a place for the new team to practice and jerseys for the female team members to wear.
“The men’s team has been the biggest resource that I’ve had,” Robinson said.
Robinson utilized social media to contact former area rugby players — some were interested and some not, but it got the ball rolling to get a team of women involved. She also handed out fliers at the University of Toledo gym.
The team is open to anyone 18 or older. Right now, more than 30 women have signed up for the team, ranging in ages between 18 and 35. No experience is necessary to join the team.
Robinson said the best part of rugby is the workout.
“I hate going to the gym. I think it’s boring, I can’t get into it,” Robinson said. “For me, I’m the type of person, I need a reason for working out other than just [looking good]. With rugby, you have a competitive aspect and I love that. I’m also an aggressive person so playing rugby is an amazing stress outlet for me.”
Robinson said there is a lot of bonding on a team sport as well.
The team’s first practice is March 10 but anyone interested can sign up whenever they wish. Practices will be twice a week, right now Tuesdays and Sundays.
For the first year, the team will not have to pay any union dues, but will have to next year. The team is raising money through a GoFundMe page, looking to raise $2,500. These funds will also buy equipment for the team and go toward dues next year. At press time, the team had raised $350. To help, visit gofundme.com/h6tn6c.
For more information or to sign up for the team, contact Robinson at (413) 336-6005 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.