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 email@example.com.
Radcliffe Rugby Returns to Competitive PastFour years ago, the Radcliffe Rugby Football Club found itself near the bottom of Division I women’s college rugby, struggling to find enough players to field a complete team. It appeared that the program had come to its demise. But Radcliffe is now poised to return to its championship glory.
Raising Money for RugbyThe Harvard-Radcliffe Rugby Football Club bypassed traditional forms of fundraising by creating a method of raising money unique to their athleticism: moving. Calling themselves "Radcliffe Movers," members of the Women's Rugby team will work in groups of two and three people to assist students as they move boxes and furniture out of their dorms and into house storage facilities. "We get off-season lifting workouts, you get your stuff moved," reads the tagline on the Radcliffe Movers sign-up form.