EDUCATION

Video: One UM woman determined to play rugby starts a women’s team on campus

Jessica Duffield
Oxford Stories
jfduffie@go.olemiss.edu

Victoria Duncan, 19, is a University of Mississippi freshman from Houston, Texas. She is a pre-pharmacy major and loves to play rugby. She started playing at her high school, St.Pius X, for the varsity team.

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Ole Miss Rugby Club T-shirt. Photo by Jessica Duffield.

When she came to college, she was disappointed UM did not have a women’s rugby team.

“Even though there was not a woman’s team, I was still determined to keep playing,” Duncan said. “I met the the captain of the men’s team, Nicolae, and told him I wanted to play. He was thrilled to hear this and encouraged me to go to practice with them. He even invited me to play in the alumni game.”

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Girls in the rugby team. Photo by Jessica Duffield

During Christmas break, Duncan received a call.

“Nicolae called me and told me there was a girl who saw me during practices and is interested in talking to me and starting a girls team,” she said. “That is how I met DaJ’ai.”

When Christmas break ended, DaJ’ai and Duncan met and discussed what had to be done to make this dream possible.

“We met the first weekend back at campus,” Duncan said, “and we talked about how we really wanted to start the team and what qualifications we had to meet. We realized we needed at least 20-something girls. We’d have to meet with the dean and go through all the Turner Center connections.”

After talking to some people, they finally got approved. “Practices are on Thursdays and Fridays from 4-6 p.m.,” Duncan said. “We currently do not have an active coach, so I have taken over that lead. This way I can met the girls.”

Duncan encourages any girls who want to join the rugby team to come to the intermediate field and play. More information can be found at the Turner Center, or by contacting Duncan.

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Girls from the rugby team at the 5k Color Run. Photo by Jessica Duffield.

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