Donor Spotlight: Meet Pat Boggs

I was first introduced to Rugby in 1977 while attending Spring Hill College, a small school located in Mobile, Alabama. Having played high school football, I was looking for a sport that combined multiple levels of physicality. Rugby not only filled that expectation, it challenged me far more than I ever imagined.

After transferring to the University of Georgia, I was proud to have been recruited for the side that won the first ever Savannah St Patrick’s day tournament. It was a hard-won fight, but after spilling our blood and our sweat, we beat the Atlanta Renegades on that sunny Sunday afternoon. Since then, I have been playing for the Blind Pigs, the old boys club for University of Georgia alumni. We may be a bit greyer on top than the Piglets, the university’s younger, better looking club, but we can still play, and most importantly, we have a great time doing it.

After more than 30 years, there are so many reasons to love the sport. For starters, everyone shares the physical burden of the game – everyone must tackle and run, and everyone should know how to handle the ball. Everyone must have some combination of stamina, strength, and endurance. Most importantly, everyone is welcome. All that’s required is desire, passion, and a deep understanding of the virtues of teamwork. I can think of few other sports where a high school kid can walk onto the field with nothing more than curiosity, and not only be welcomed, but still be playing 30 years later. It’s the spirit of this game, the support and camaraderie, which is so enticing and intoxicating.

The current climate of team sports opens a tremendous window of opportunity for Unites States Rugby. Many traditional U.S. sports are seeing significant reductions in participation at the youth level and emerging sports are filling these voids at an accelerated pace. Given the changing profile of American demographics and the increased level of awareness around health and wellness, the U.S. Rugby community must mobilize and reach out to these youth and showcase its competitive strengths, namely:

  • Rugby requires total fitness and emphasizes a broad physical skillset
  • Rugby demands hard work, teamwork, and the highest degree of sportsmanship
  • Rugby is about inclusion; we are open to all who are passionate about the game
  • Rugby is pure fun on and off the field

With Rugby now having its rightful place back in the 2016 Olympic Games, there is no better time than now to advance the brand in the U.S. and secure it a bright future. Now is the time to share the passion, the physical strain, and the kinship.

This is why I support United States Rugby.

Below are two pictures of the same team with 30 year’s separation. The UGA college side is on the top and our old boy team 30 years later (blind pigs) is on the bottom which ties to my point that you play rugby for life… of the game and the friends.