Donor Spotlight: Meet Gwen Collins

What is your rugby background?

I became a rugby fan while traveling and living in Europe and Australia. About 15 years ago I was invited to attend a match with some friends and colleagues of mine. I have been a fan ever since, but have never played.

Why do you continue to love the sport?

I love the sport because of the teamwork, the respect for each other and each other’s teams after a match, the rawness of the sport and the true Olympic-type dedication in the spirits of players. I enjoy watching the camaraderie between teams after the finish and the respect for competition, giving of heart and soul, and a winner.

What rugby event or memory has been the most influential/monumental to you?

The match between the USA Rugby team and the New Zealand All-Blacks may have been recent, but it stands out for me. The amount of support that has grown for the love of the sport in the USA brings tears to my eyes. It was fantastic to see the USA take on the All-Blacks with ferocity, and to have NBC broadcasting it all. It was a day and weekend I will remember for a lifetime!

Why do you give back?

I choose to give to USA Rugby Trust because I believe in the mission and vision of the organization and want to help in taking its exposure and game to new heights. I am passionate about the sport, I follow the teams, and I believe in where the organization is going. They have proven with dedication, commitment and hard work that transformation and growth can be achieved.

Why is rugby in the US important and how can we support and help grow the sport in the future?

I want the best for the sport and to see it grow and thrive in the United States. We have so few gentleman’s and women’s sports left that utilize raw talent. The blood, sweat and tears of the sport resemble what it takes in life to get ahead and achieve one’s dreams, no matter what the goal. I think these players are magnificent role models for our youth and I want to support them so they can continue to gain exposure and be those Olympic-type role models desperately needed in America.