By Bailey Klingaman – Digital Editor
Over the summer, Women’s Rugby coach alum Nick Lucido (‘17) received an email notifying him the team was joining the Athletics Department as a club sport.
“I’m not sure what [happened] to make this work…but I’m happy that [it] did,” said Lucido, who played on the Men’s Rugby team during his time at Lasell. Men’s rugby, crew and cheerleading have also joined athletics as club sports. “It’s huge for the girls; the Women’s and Men’s [Rugby] teams are both going to benefit greatly from this,” said Lucido.
According to Director of Athletics Kristy Walter, the transition to athletics was “to give the club sports a little bit more support and more supervision, and maybe [Lasell] can retain more students and make it a better experience for those students that are playing. It’s also a safety issue in terms of having a trainer there.”
As a club sport, Lucido says the team will still have an active e-board, including a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. “They’re going to be able to manage their own budget, they’re going to know how to facilitate ideas and responsibilities,” said Lucido.
According to Walter, being a club sport under athletics grants the rugby team access to athletic trainers, concussion testing and help recruiting. Walter said the Athletics Department hired five athletic trainers for the onboarding clubs.
“Our players are going to have trainers who know them, who require them to take tests so they know their bodies. They have a team that consistently is going to work with them and be able to take care of [their safety],” said Lucido.
In early September, the team had six players, including the four members of the e-board.
President and Captain senior Gillian Long said she is hoping to see an increase in the team’s numbers. “We are always looking for new faces and looking to grow our little family that we have going on right now. [Seniors] really try to take the younger girls under their wings and kind of show them the ropes because they are the future of this program.”
According to Walter, the Athletics Department plans on adding a club sports page under the Recreation & Intramurals section of the athletics website to promote the teams.
Within the team, sophomore Emily Antonik, club treasurer, has been spearheading the recruitment. “I just was very excited…I was just like, we need more people to play….We definitely are going to do more social media advertising…and we had this idea to make smaller flyers and slide it under girl dorms,” said Antonik.
The team also had a table at the Activities Fair on September 16, where anybody interested could ask for information on the team and how to join.
In recruiting, Long says the most important thing for people considering joining the team to know is, “Rugby is for everybody, no matter your body type, no matter your height or anything like that. If you can walk and run, you can play rugby.”