Touch Rugby games set for CPP club

By Adrian Danganan

If you have ever walked by the Bronco Commons fields at night, you may have seen a group of people playing an intense game of touch rugby.

That particular group is the Cal Poly Pomona Rugby Enthusiast Club. Founded in spring 2013 and recently club affiliated in fall 2013, the club aims to promote awareness for rugby, as well as share with fellow club members and the student body the recreation of the sport.

Captain and fourth-year history student Evan Hendry founded the club, along with president and fifth-year hotel and restaurant management student Eugene Kil and vice president and second-year international business student Jerry Chin. The club also gets training from coach and fellow CPP alumni Roche Martinez and assistant coach Keith Forward.

But what exactly is rugby? According to Forward, it is almost a bit of everything.

“Rugby is kind of a combination between soccer, football and a little bit of wrestling,” said Forward.

He states rugby has continuous play like soccer, makes lateral passes like football, and contains finesse and controlled tackling like wrestling.

Although the sport is universal, it is more dominant in countries such as New Zealand, Wales and England. Despite not being as recognized in the United States, rugby has found its way to many high schools and colleges across the nation. The club aims to bring recognition of the sport across CPP for new and familiar players.

“It was love at first sight,” said Chin. “It’s a great sport. It’s more physical than I would say American football. But, at the same time, it’s a more refined sport.”

However, rugby is more than just a physical sport, the club also encourages social interaction.

“The social aspect of being on a rugby team” there’s a lot of tradition behind it,” said Kil. “There’s really where we all come together.”

While the club fulfills its goals of promoting rugby to the student body and recruiting anybody who shares (or would like to share) passion for the sport, the club is also in the process of getting players prepared for what is to come. Their meetings consist of heavy warm-ups and intense physical training.

The club also aims to ensure the safety of its players. Chin firmly stated that there are not many injuries happening and people should not think twice about the violence rugby portrays.

“People shouldn’t be afraid of it,” said Chin. “Understand it before you judge how dangerous or how barbaric it is.”

Fourth-year history student Nick Katchur was among six new players that showed up to Wednesday’s practice for the first time.

“They’re good people,” said Katchur about his first impression about the club, overall. “They’re very outgoing and friendly.”

The CPP Rugby Enthusiast Club has gathered 25-30 members and continues to welcome rugby players like themselves. Anyone who has a feel for the sport or would like to learn more about the sport is encouraged to drop by their practices on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Fridays in the afternoon at the Bronco Commons fields.

“Rugby, in the United States, grows from new players,” said Sanchez. “We encourage new players. We teach them and we are patient with them.”

“Just do it,” said Katchur about anyone who would be interested in coming to practice. “It’s fun, it’s exciting, it gets you off your butt, and you meet good people.”

Kil extends his welcome.

“It’s for people that love to play sports,” said Kil. “It’s for anybody that wants to try something new. No matter what size you are, there’s always a position for you in a rugby team.”

Touch Rugby games set for CPP club

Danny Huynh/The Poly Post

Touch Rugby games set for CPP club

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