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Written by: Chris Perrotte
A young girl stands at the proverbial fork in the road. To try out for rugby or to not try out for rugby? What should she do?
“Just give it a try. You’ll never be out of place. There’s no way you can be out of place in rugby unless you just don’t want to do it” are the wise words she might hear from Brenna Cairncross, player/coach for the Barrie Women’s Rugby Team. “But even if it’s not rugby,” she continues, “do something with your body. Make your body your own. Just go do something. Rugby is a great place to do that and a great place to be surrounded by wonderful, smart, strong, motivated people – and women especially.”
Cairncross, 31, loves the positive environment and sense of family found in the sport. These very characteristics were certainly demonstrated to her when she was welcomed with open arms upon her return to the Barrie Rugby Club after nine years away.
This club is a family in every sense of the word, both on and off the field. From silly things like showing up unannounced to surprise a teammate at work or ensuring the winner of the "rubber chicken" carries the prize wherever she goes, to the more serious banding together to raise money for cancer research, this team is family. To show solidarity to cancer patients, the ladies have gathered July 15th on the field at the Barrie Community Sports Complex to cut their hair in support of those suffering at the hands of this terrible disease.
“One of the girls just actually said, 'hey, I’m going to cut my hair, do you think some of the girls would do it?' And I said 'yes we should make a big event about it',” says Jessica Day, Women’s Director of the Barrie Rugby Club. “I know a lot of the members on the team have been affected [by] family members' [battles with cancer]. I know the U18 [Under 18] Coach's dad is going through cancer treatment right now, so it has touched a lot of us. We just want to give back to our community.”
Day added that the team does a lot of community work, this cause being just one of them. When the women cut their hair, it their pony-tails will be combined to create wigs for cancer patients. The Women’s club is accepting financial donations with all proceeds to RVH Cancer Centre. They have created a Go Fund Me Account and are accepting donations at: www.gofundme.com/rucks-n-cuts. Their Go Fund Me Page will be open until August 12th, 2017.
By supporting this cause, you’d be helping these young women help the battle against cancer. No matter the situation, these ladies stick together. “This is a family more than it’s a team,” says Mike Symes, Head Coach of the Women’s Rugby squad. “They’re really close, from 18 to 35. We’ve got players who have kids. We have players who are still in college, university, and [at] total different points in life. They come together on the rugby field and they stick up for each other like [there's] no tomorrow.”
Eighteen year old Dani Troop reiterates these sentiments: “You just have this bond with them [the team]. They’re not just friends, they are your rugby family; you’re so close with them.”
There is a saying in Proverbs; “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” In this case, brothers are sisters. The women on the Barrie Rugby Team continue to demonstrate by their actions – whether by battling opponents on the field or taking their fight to cancer – they are family, and they have each other’s backs no matter what.