Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – March 19, 2017 – Life University’s women’s rugby team is hoping to defend its title as the winner of the 2016 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship this coming June. Last year’s successful performance was only the Georgia-based school’s second time ever at the event, an even more impressive task considering the team had only become a varsity program in August 2014.
“I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. This is a rugby school. We take rugby very seriously and it’s well resourced and well received. The entire program is phenomenal and we work with the men’s program and the coaching staff with them as well,” said the team’s Head Coach Rosalind Chou. “It’s being able to have a full-time program and all the resources with medical staff, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning assistant coaches, specialty coaches- it doesn’t get much better than working here.”
Chou became a part of the team during its transition to varsity in the winter of January 2014. She was approached by the university’s Director of Rugby at the time for the Head Coach position due to Chou’s 20 years in the sport at the collegiate and club level. To start a serious program from scratch, she picked the brains of other collegiate coaches and worked closely with the staff of Life’s already established varsity men’s rugby team.
Since the women’s varsity program started in January of 2014, the collegiate rugby cycle was midway through a whole season, so Chou’s team wasn’t even eligible for playoffs. However Chou had her team prepared for their first full cycle of play in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015.
“She is huge on culture and character. She will easily sit our best player down if they don’t meet our team’s expectations as far as culture. She makes us better people and better rugby players. She is very passionate about rugby and it encourages my teammates and I to be passionate as well,” said rugby player Kimberly Semiglia.
Since then Life’s women’s rugby team has produced a variety of accolades. Just a week before the team became the 2016 CRCs winner, the school has won a USA Rugby Collegiate 7s National Championship. This May they will even be hosting the USA Rugby Collegiate National Championships on their very own campus.
“I didn’t know how rewarding it would be,” said Chou when reflecting about her role as coach. “[Life’s Director of Rugby] told me that. He said, ‘Just wait and see. You’re going to get addicted to seeing people grow on and off the field- you’re going to be completely enamored by just seeing people develop as human beings.’ And he was right.”