Rugby – it’s not just a sport, it’s a way of life.
Well, the first week of my new career has finished. It was a long one, and I felt like I had been thrown in the deep end. That’s not actually a bad thing, in that I am learning fast, and that my team trust me to get the job done. In that sense it’s an honour.
Of course, there has also been the matter of settling into life in Connecticut. Defying expectations, I managed to find a place to live, a little studio apartment in a town called Black Rock. I get to move in this week, though it might take a little longer before I get to put all the furniture in. The next few weekends will be packed.
Even with all that is going on though, I took yesterday out to lend a hand and take part in the global network that is club rugby. By a fortunate stroke of luck, one of the hosts at the house where I have been staying is a former rugby player, and we immediately hit it off. Despite being retired from the game, he is still actively involved in the sport, and he asked whether I would like to volunteer at a tournament out in upstate New York. I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to see some rugby and support the sport, especially because this time it was for a good cause.
The tournament was for a former teammate of my host, JoJo Moore, who was left a quadriplegic 24 years ago after a scrum went horribly wrong. To help cover his medical and living expenses, every year the club puts on a tournament in his honour, with teams coming from all over the region to play. Jojo himself turns up and supports the players, watching intently from the sidelines. This year was especially good, with the host team taking home the silverware in a hard fought final.
The whole event was a reminder of what rugby is and what it represents.
There’s no doubt that rugby is brutal on the field. It’s rough, injuries happen, and sometimes they’re devastating. My own broken collarbone doesn’t really even rate. You play hard, and you fight hard out there on the field.
However, off the field, you look out for each other (and have a beer). Regardless of what team you’re on, what club you play for, or whether you know them or not. Rugby is a connector. That’s why it’s one of the sports of global business. And why I’m happy to make time for it.
You can help support the JoJo Moore trust here.
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