The team started as an amateur association with a gathering of people who liked playing rugby. It was their desire to learn rugby more professionally that led them to earn official recognition as the first national women’s team. The interesting part is that four foreigners are also included in the national team. Park In-kyoung (Clinical Health Sciences, Ph.D. program) explained that “The International Rugby Board allows foreigners to be included in the national team if they have lived in
Seo Ho-jung (Clinical Health Sciences, Ph.D. program) played a big role in creating the team, but said she faced prejudice along the way. “When I was working for the Korea Rugby Union, I became interested in rugby and wanted to build the first women’s rugby team in
However, Chae Kyu-yeon (Clinical Health Sciences, Master’s program) says there is more to rugby than just ugly tackles and sufferings. “In rugby, the best way to score is by putting the ball down behind the goal line of the opposing team to make a ‘try.’ Nobody can realize the pleasant sensation of marking a try unless he/she experiences rugby. It is that feeling of accomplishment that drives you to continue playing rugby despite all those tough injuries,” said Chae.
Park said, “The irresistible fun of playing rugby has motivated us, but there are more meaningful and concrete reasons why we play rugby too. In my case, I want to become a sports specialist to help people discover a sport suited to their disposition. In order to become a sports specialist, I thought I need to learn as many sports as I can, including rugby. Chae here wants to help disabled people and she plans to simplify rugby rules to help those people enjoy playing and better the condition of their physical disorders.”
South Korean rugby is still at an elementary level since it is not one of the most popular sports of the nation. In contrast, women’s rugby teams abroad are much more experienced and well-organized.
Chae said, “Our primary goal is to attain a good result in the 2008 Rugby World Cup. I believe that success, not only in studies but also in sports, is the fruit of effort, and I am determined to endure the Spartan training ahead of us. So, please cheer for the 10 women rugby players who are striving to work their way clear of prejudice and score some tries.”