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Learn to play rugby with other badass Tucson women

By This is Tucson, 08/22/18, 10:45AM MST


Read the full article at  This is Tucson.

You don't need experience to join the women's rugby team. Just show up to a clinic to learn more before you commit. 

When Alison Miller saw rugby flyers that said "girls can tackle too" posted all over her Seattle high school, she was intrigued.

So, she showed up to the first practice. 

It was muddy and rainy, but she was hooked. Miller continued to play through college, and now as an adult in Tucson, where she serves as the recruiting chair for Old Pueblo Lightning Women's Rugby.

"The sport itself is incredible," Miller said. "It's a mix of the physicality and intensity of football with the non-stop play and international nature of soccer...For women in particular, it's a sport that allows us to embrace being strong and aggressive and gain a deeper understanding of everything our bodies can do."

Another thing Miller loves about rugby is the sense of community. And not just locally.

"Not only do you have a built-in family when you join a team, but you'll have instant camaraderie with any rugger you meet the world over," Miller said. "Rugby culture is built on respect. We are extremely strict about talking back to referees and no matter how heated a game may get, the home team will host a social for the visiting team afterward. We drink beer together, eat food, sing songs and play games."

To share the love of the sport and recruit new teammates, Old Pueblo Lightning Women's Rugby is hosting a rookie clinic starting next Saturday, Aug. 25.  If you go, you'll learn all about the sport before committing to a team. There are three clinics that build on each other, but you can drop in on any of the dates. 

Don't worry if you don't have experience. You don't need it. The team will show you moves like passing, tackling and rucking. Plus, you'll play some non-tackle to get the flow of the game.

"We have plenty of women every season who have never played before or even touched a rugby ball," Miller said. "So, we're always conscious to teach the basics."


What: Women's Rugby 101

When: Aug. 25, 9 a.m.; Aug. 28 and Aug. 30, 5:30 p.m. 

Where: Estevan Park, 1000 N. Main Ave. 

Cost: Free

More info: Go here. Wear comfy clothes and soccer cleats and a mouth guard if you have them.