HOCHSPEYER, Germany –
It’s late afternoon and the Kaiserslautern women’s rugby team are strewn throughout the field warming up for their Thursday practice. Mouth guards are put in and the game changes from an easy warm up to intense training.
The sport has gradually become more popular in the world, especially for female athletes. The Kaiserslautern Military Community has an opportunity for women to join the movement.
“A lot of individuals are timid to come out to rugby because it’s considered a rough sport,” said Staff Sgt. Katy Dockery, 1st Combat Communications Squadron Material Control. “If they give it a chance, not many walk away not in love with it.”
The Kaiserslautern women’s rugby team consists of U.S. service members, civilians, dependents, and host nation players. The team is comprised of players of all experience levels.
The team participates in a league in the southwest region of Germany but has travelled to Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland and all over Germany to participate in tournaments, allowing the team an opportunity to bond.
“This rugby team is my family,” said Tech. Sgt. Mary Morrison, 86th Airlift Wing member. “We support each other on the field during play and off the field. We have dinners, gatherings, traditions, and even travel with each other.”
Not only has the team given Morrison a rugby family, but it’s also helped her network and make connections with coaches from South Africa, Germany, and England.
“While playing with this team, you will be playing alongside and against players from multiple nations.” said Morrison. “We integrate with those teams and have built a friendship with them.”
Dockery shared that participating in rugby keeps her resilient both mentally and physically. Rugby has helped her relieve stress during tough times and practices are an additional way for her to stay physically fit.
“We have quite the tight knit team so it’s always nice to see your rugby family during a stressful week,” said Dockery. “Once a rugger, always a rugger.”
Practices take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Kirchstrasse soccer field in Hochspeyer.
For more information about playing or helping the team, find them on Facebook by searching Kaiserslautern Women’s Rugby at Club Hochspeyer.