More than just a club sport

Katie Tolbert

Walking around campus a number of students see guys that wear Georgia Southern University rugby gear, but most people don’t know that the club rugby team is just as dedicated to their volunteering as they are to their sport.

“We have never had a very good reputation here at Georgia Southern and we feel like people don’t really know us. And the people that do know us don’t think too highly of us,” Byron Batchelor, junior team captain said. “We feel like we should go above and beyond with our community service work for the campus and the community to get more recognition, but also it helps people see that we do try to give back to the community.”

The club rugby team is required under a mandate made by the club sports council to complete a certain number of community service hours every year, but this club sport does not let that required number limit the hours they put into the community and other organizations.

“We are the club sport of the year. We try to be the best. We will volunteer for a lot of stuff at the RAC, but we also do a lot of work with the archery team,” junior forwards captain Sean Gilfillan said. “We just want to help the community in some way. It gives guys a sense of community on and off the pitch. It’s good to do something for the greater good together.”

“There is always that expectation to meet those hours, but we want to do that extra work that we feel we need to do. Doing the community stuff and giving back really helps us get a chance to work together outside of the sport and really get to know each other as a team, instead of just working together on the field,” Batchelor said.

On top of all this community service, Kyle Lesser, junior vice president, mentioned that this team is also held to a high standard when it comes to actually performing at their games. Due to their dedication, the rugby team is currently 2-0, with their fresh 28-17 win against Georgia Institute of Technology’s rugby team.

“On the field, we have training sessions from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Individually, what I do and what most of the guys do, is weight room sessions, stretching and whatever it takes to recover from the previous game to prepare for the next one,” Gilfillan said.

The rugby team will be playing on Saturday, Feb. 15 at noon against the University of Memphis to start off their three consecutive home games at the RAC field behind the alumni center.