To rather tenuously paraphrase George S. Patton, you can’t play rugby sitting on your sofa. Yet the School of Engineering Rugby RFC (SERFC) managed to run a rugby team with over 100 members through a pandemic. All members, new and old, were able to participate on their terms either in match fixtures or simply train and take part in the social side of the club. More senior members on the team became instant leaders and moved mountains to make sure that everyone was welcome. The club formed families so that the new – and very large – intake of freshers weren’t cast astray due to not being able to meet as a whole club. SERFC created events on a Facebook page and used all the tools at their disposal to be there for their teammates. They created families which, with pastoral care and weekly social competitions, brought everyone closer. The rugby team were inundated with praise and thanks from numerous freshers for being so inclusive, regardless of their experience with the sport. Yet, despite the diverse experience levels, team captains ensured that the rugby played was always to a high standard with various training and fitness sessions occurring throughout the week once permitted. The encouragement and training paid off, with one of the teams beating the University’s Medics first team for the first time ever. With restrictions
continuing to ease, there is certainly a sunny future ahead for SERFC.