Rugby Program Hopes To Raise Money for New Field

In the moments before the Harvard men’s rugby team’s final match, its coach, David Gonzales, made a big announcement to the team: The rugby program plans to raise money to build a new home for Harvard rugby.

“We were all freaking out and really excited when he told us,” player Willie J. Pirc ’15 said.

But stadiums are not built with excitement, so the team’s hope of a new place to play cannot be realized unless it lines up sufficient donations. While the plan is still in its infancy, captain Jaime A. Zobel de Ayala ’13 expressed excitement about the prospect of a new facility.

“This would be a substantial step towards what we want for the rugby program,” Zobel de Ayala said. “It’d be huge.”

The team is now taking its first steps on the long road to setting foot on a new field.

“At this point, we are just starting our fundraising campaign, with the field being one of the primary goals of it,” said Sarah E. L. Macvicar ’13, the president of the women’s rugby team. “It’s definitely one of those things that are going to take time.”

Pirc said that a new field would be a welcome improvement. “[Our current field] is not a very quality field,” he said. “Whenever it rains, it gets totally torn up. We usually play in the mud a lot.” He and Zobel de Ayala both noted that the men’s rugby team sometimes plays its games on another team’s field.

Zobel de Ayala added that a new stadium would bring upgrades beyond the playing surface. “We have a little shed for most of our supplies, and we take care of what we have, but we don’t have a lot,” he said.

Pirc said he also thought that a new stadium might bring more attention to the program. “We hope that with a new field, rugby will become a spectator sport. It’s been a tradition at Harvard for 140 years, and it’s a fun sport to watch, so I feel like it could become something the student body would come to.”

­—Staff writer Jacob D. H. Feldman can be reached at jacobfeldman@college.harvard.edu.

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