At first, women and rugby may not seem like a good match. Laurie shows us it can be, with passion and commitment, at the St. Barth club.
She has been playing for a long time, almost 18 years. First in Toulouse, then in Saint Martin, before she joined the St Barth club 3 years ago.
Her great passion is rugby, although she has played many other sports. Rugby is to her the synthesis of many sports: “I’ve practiced a lot of sports, such as judo, swimming, or soccer. What I have learnt is that all sports can bring something to rugby. For example, soccer is about footwork, judo develops a fighting attitude and a way to fall. Rugby is a complete sport.”
Laurie also breaks down preconceived notions about age and gender: “You can start at any age. You just need to feel like it. I invite everyone to come and try. There is something for everyone in rugby. ”
At the St. Barth club, there is a section for children from 3 years old, for teens, and for women and men. There are the Barracudas for the men’s team from 18 years old, the Rascasses for the girls, the Poisson clown for veterans. All generations can join a team that suits them.
The St. Barths school now stands out with choice coaching, under the leadership of President Olivier Ribera for a year, Florence Bischoff and two coaches, Fabien Maurel and Denis Ragot. The senior men’s team won Guadeloupe’s championship and the elite championship which includes the three best teams in Guadeloupe and the three best in Martinique. The U12 team won all regional tournaments this year.
“We have a very good rugby school. We are all involved, and we make sure it goes well. I like the good atmosphere in the club, the coaches are listening, and we share this collective desire to win ”
Training is thorough, and St. Barths has the particularity of having 7 players in the game: “We have one collective training a week and one physical training with endurance, cardio and muscle strengthening. With the end of Covid, we can finally resume competition this year with the Guadeloupe championship.”
But above all, what Laurie likes to emphasize is the family spirit and mutual aid at the club: “There is a real group life outside the sport itself. It’s more than a sports team, but a group of friends. We’ve known each other forever. I really enjoy the family spirit, the team cohesion. What I also like are the human values, growing together and helping each other in the game. And the after match party is also wonderful! “It is part of the sport. We like to go out together and celebrate our games.
And contrary to popular belief, it is a contact sport, not a combat sport. It’s a game of avoidance and contact. “I never got hurt playing rugby. On the other end, I did hurt myself at the beach.”
Laurie aspires to keep growing in St. Barths, along with her club.
This year rugby will be in the spotlight with the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in Sept 2022, and the Men’s Rugby World Cup in France in 2023.
The St. Barths club resumed its season on September 17. And the women’s team trains on Fridays at 7pm
If you are interested, it will be a pleasure for Laurie to meet with you.