Paige Bramblett is quite a force to be reckoned with- on and off the pitch. That is “rugby speak” for field. This Georgia native has not only stepped up from freshmen rookie to captain in just one year, she has made great efforts to empower young women here at the College of Charleston through getting involved in rugby.
So I got to sit down with Paige one and one, and pick her brain about why exactly she is so passionate about this sport.
Name: Paige Bramblett
Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: Thomasville, Georgia
Victoria: So when did you start playing rugby? What about this sport sparked your interest?
Paige: I started playing rugby last year. In high school I thought that I should join a sport in college just to stay fit and all that kind of stuff. I was looking at the list of clubs, and I saw rugby, and I was like, that sounds badass. I went to the orientation table during the summer, and I met with the girls and the rookie coordinator, and I just fell in love with it.
Victoria: How did you make the transition from being a rookie to holding a leadership role in just one year?
Paige: So, I just kind of took on a leadership role with the rookies. It was me and a few other girls that just carried the team. Two years ago our team went to nationals, and all of the seniors that experienced that were very burnt out. They thought they could just kind of breeze through the year and go to nationals again, so our rookie class really had to step up and carry the team. I think that is where our leadership came from.
Victoria: What would you say to people who associate rugby as a male only sport?
Paige: It’s bullshit. In the rules of rugby, it is exactly the same between the male and female side of it. You know how there is baseball and softball, and there is football, and no women’s football? Well, rugby is exactly the same. Also, the community is very open; they are open towards the LGBT community and everything else, so it just being a male’s sport is dumb. Girls can be bad-asses as well.
Victoria: What is your perspective on women in athletics?
Paige: I think it is really important. I think it is important for women to be a part of a team. It helps build confidence. It helps you love your body especially in the society that tries to tear women down. Thinking you have to be skinny, when actually, no, you can be muscular, you can be strong. I think that is the great thing about our team, is that we are all very body positive, and support everyone. It’s great.
Victoria: And how does this mold your outlook on other aspects of life?
Paige: Well, I mean it keeps you in check. You’re more focused in school because you know that you have to get stuff done. Also, because you have practice later that day or you have a game that weekend, so you have to get all your stuff done during the week. And then you also have your family. You know that you have the people that have your back no matter what. That’s a very big part of my life.
Victoria: What advice would you give to women who want to try a sport like rugby, but might be too intimidated?
Paige: Just give it a shot. Know that we aren’t these giant scary girls. Honestly, if you get to know us, we all are just doofuses and we have fun on the field. Just take it slow. I would say just jump into it and try it. It’s a lot of fun.
Victoria: How do balance your time spent at practices and games with your schoolwork?
Paige: It definitely takes a bit to figure it out. My first semester freshmen year, it took me probably the whole semester to figure out how to balance everything. But then again, you have all these girls who are also trying to figure it all out, and you just get together, and go to the library.
Victoria: How do you prepare for an intense game?
Paige: So the day before, on a Friday, you always make sure that you are staying hydrated and eating a lot of healthy food. And we all have team dinner where we eat pasta and carb up. Always get eight hours of sleep. I usually want to wake up really early before a game. I go on a run. I have a really good breakfast. I just hang out with myself and relax before I have to go kick ass.
Victoria: What is your favorite thing about playing rugby at the College of Charleston?
Paige: My favorite thing is the teammates and the girls I play with. I think they are fantastic. They’re my family. I know that I’m up here, and I have girls that always have my back, and I know that I have their back. Just the support on and off the pitch is the best part about playing.
Victoria: Anything else, you would like to share to those reading this?
Paige: The most important part about joining a team is the support. Even if kids don’t like rugby- the sport itself- I always encourage them to go out and try to find a club or something of their interest to join in college. This is because it helps you keep in check with your schoolwork, and you find a family. You can go into college having a group of girls that is your support system.
If anyone is interested in rugby or wants to become a part of an amazing team of strong, collegiate women, and wishes to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact Paige at email@example.com!
All photos courtesy of Paige Bramblett.