For the longest time, contact sports have been celebrated around the world amidst rising competitive spirits. Here in DLSU, the likes of Taekwondo and Judo are part of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) plantilla of the first term. Sports clubs handled by the Office of Sports Development (OSD) have developed followings such as Futsal and Muay Thai, but one thing is for sure, the Rugby scene has been itching to break through in hopes of making a mark.
Rugby, also known as Rugby Union, is a contact sport which originated in England during the nineteenth century. The sport is commonly mistaken for American football as both sports utilize different kinds of tactics and tackles which look similar even in hindsight of casual sporting fans.
Angelique Tuason, founder of DLSU Rugby, introduced the sport in the University last August 2018 with the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) as its partner. Aside from the sporting factor rugby brings into the table, one of the purposes of introducing the sport is to change the mechanics of inclusivity. “There’s this stigma that I want to change. Since I am a small person, the concept would be like ‘Oh I can’t play Rugby because I am short’ but that is not the case. You may be small, but you are strong enough,” Tuason states.
Joining the club does not require a formal application. You can just message the Facebook page DLSU RUGBY for further details and they will be glad to help.
Testing the waters
The DLSU Rugby club is officially partnered with the PRFU, the official governing body of the sport of Rugby Union in the Philippines. It was founded in 1999 and was granted full World Rugby membership in 2008. The partnership aims to nurture and develop up and coming Lasallian Rugby enthusiasts and amateurs to become professionals. Just like Angelique, the members aim to be in the world stage in the near future.
For starters, the local rugby community has been around for quite some time. Tuason shares that UP has its dedicated touch rugby club. Aside from those in the university setting, numerous high school and professional clubs are managed and sponsored by the PRFU. On the national level, the Philippine Volcanoes represent the Philippines on the international stage.
As a new club, the team has yet to conduct their first practice session. Even if Rugby heavily relies on physicality and endurance, mind games will be part of the fray. Tuason states that “people will have the mindset of ‘Oh [Expletive], I am going to be injured,’ I want to change that mindset, so we are going to start off with touch rugby before tackle.”
What it takes
Tall, muscular, powerful, and agile are characteristics that people easily perceive when thinking of a rugby player. However, its team founder and manager defied these characteristics as she herself is not as tall and as muscular as an “ideal” rugby player. She emphasized that it takes not the physique to become one athlete but the mindset of wanting to become one. It all starts with one to “want to play rugby” and there on, it it should be pursued to become a reality.
Chasing for the top will never be easy considering the circumstances that the club members will face. When it comes to skillset variety, rugby is no easy task to follow. The sport stretches a person’s strength and speed at both ends, which makes the grind challenging. But at the end of the day, the possibility of competing in the professional stage is what drives the team to push themselves and become veterans of the sport as they continue onto this chosen journey.