I am the faculty adviser to GW women’s rugby. Technically, they are a “club” team. This lowly status did not keep my players from a major victory against Washington College during Parents’ Weekend. We won by a boastfully comfortable margin, and certain goals were scored by athletes whose papers I have graded in the recent past. These women are all “A” players in my book.
Visiting parents and I were, however, dismayed when the referee yelled at our ruggers for taking too long with substitutions. The reason: there are not enough team jerseys to go around. An injured or exhausted player had to tear off her shirt and hand it to her incoming replacement. This team wins victories for GW. I think each player deserves her own shirt – don’t you?
Many a GW student-athlete has taken my “Athletics and Gender” class, which requires a term paper on Title IX – the law passed 28 years ago to enforce equal funds and opportunities for female athletes. I know all club sports struggle for funding and recognition, but our rugby women should not have to leave the scrum to hold bake sales for team jerseys. Let’s show more support for women’s rubgy.
-Bonnie J. Morris
assistant adjunct professor