Unapologetic in Their Strength: Claremont Foxes Women’s Rugby Team

Riley Harmon ’22

Staff Writer

The 5Cs, along with NCAA sports, boasts a wide variety of club sports. One of them, the Claremont Foxes Women’s Rugby Team, has found both regional and national success. To learn more about the team, I sat down with the president of the Foxes, Abby Power ’21.

“Once a week you get to play a game … it is really amazing being out there with your team, accomplishing so much together,” Power said.

The Foxes is a club rugby team at the 5Cs that plays under the Pacific Desert Collegiate Women’s Division II league. In 2019 they went undefeated in league play and in 2018 they won the Gold Coast Conference of Intercollegiate Rugby Women’s DIV II Title.

Power joined the Foxes her first year at Scripps never having played rugby before. Reminiscing about her first practice she recalled thinking, “I don’t really know this sport yet, but I like the people here, so I’m going to stay,” she said. “Then, I loved the sport as I learned more.” 

The team itself has been a major aspect of Power’s life at Scripps. She is a Community Coordinator for Dorsey Residence Hall and Manager of the Scripps Bike Shop, but has found that rugby is one of the things she cares the most about at the college. 

“Whenever people would ask me how I was doing, I would always end up wanting to talk about rugby because I really love the team and love the sport,” said Power.

“In rugby there are 15 people on the field; you all have to work together, and you have to all support one another,” Power said. “We all want to see everyone on the team grow and see everyone on the team become more confident in their rugby abilities.”

These rugby abilities require a wide range of talents including speed, strength, and intense focus. Power described the Foxes’ rugby style as strategy-heavy while simultaneously physically exhausting. As a forward, Power’s main role is to sprint around the field, supporting other members of her team in order to maintain possession of the ball.

Despite the prowess required to attain success in rugby, Power discussed a misplaced stigma often put on women for playing rugby because of its nature as an extreme contact sport requiring lots of strength. She counters that stigma with the idea that, “having a group of women who are so unapologetic in their strength … and who are not willing to take those negative comments and internalize them I think is really awesome.”

Power has a deep care for her teammates. She described the team as similar to a family, often spending lots of time together outside of practice. Furthermore, Power said, “women’s rugby tends to have a pretty strong gay community which has been amazing for me.”

She felt that it allowed her to relate to many members of the team and feel supported immediately coming into college. 

“Sexuality in rugby is celebrated,” said Power. “Being a part of the team has allowed [players] to feel so much more open in that, so much more supported in that.”

The strength and community that the Foxes foster has given Power the confidence to accomplish other difficult trials in life. As President of the team, Power expressed hopes to translate these feelings to new and younger players as the season begins. 

In regard to their plans for the upcoming season, “the goal is really just to work hard every day because we want to go to nationals, and we want to be successful,” Power said. “We will be successful if we do all the little things.”

Power is instilling the value of working hard every day into her team. She is doing all the little things such as coming to practice on time and jogging between water breaks to lead by example in order to drive her team to success within their community. The Foxes will pursue their goals at their first home game on Nov. 16, 2019 and, as always, the Foxes welcome new players. No experience is necessary.

Image Credit: cmc.edu

10/10, Volume XXIX, Issue 2