I am a fan of rugby..... to the extent of watching the 6 nations, the world cup and having a very basic understanding of the rules, but had only ever seen my local team play possibly twice ever. Now considering I have lived here all my 22 years of life and that my sisters boyfriend plays a fairly prominent part in the team I wondered how I had not seen more matches.
Truth be told it was the travelling, the team had up until two days ago had to play on a pitch that belonged to others and is about 15 minutes away from the town. This meant journeying a fair distance, having to know in advance timings of matches and basically just a whole lot more organisation than would be required now that the pitches are just a 2 minute walk into town.
There has been a team for over 20 years now but due to the small size of our town there was never the funding nor the support needed to give them grounds of their own. But after many years the training tirelessly, pushing for spectators and loving the sport has finally paid off and in a fantastic way.
Over 100 people showed up to support and many stayed after for probably one too many drinks .... but there was a perfectly acceptable reason for the large quantities of alcohol and noise. WE WON.
We had two senior matches that day, one for our second team and one for the firsts and amazingly we won both. The victories mean the boys have come away truly owning those pitches and with even more encouragement to continue playing wholeheartedly - as they always do. Recently there has been an increased feeling of importance among not only the players but those watching the games, more passion, more enjoyment and these games will only serve to increase it.
Making the effort to watch your local team whether it be rugby, football or whatever sport they happen to be playing, it is so worth your time. Even if you aren't fascinated by the actual sport being played!
If they are a small team like ours the games are more than likely free so you don't even have to spend money, the atmosphere will get you excited even if the idea of watching people run around after a ball doesn't.
I challenge anyone to go to a local game and not feel pride at some point during it.
It might seem like a strange thing to promote but after you watch a game like this and feel that passion of being a part of something, you don't forget it quickly and just want to do it all over again. The players love what they do, work so hard and having people cheering them on is sometimes all they need to feel like winners. Why not be that support?.... and hey if you're welcomed back to the club for some drinks after you're guaranteed a good time. Trust me.
P.s shout out to our guys that got pretty badly injured, you put your all into it and the whole team will be grateful, you were amazing but please remember to take it easy ..... even if it's fairly clear they definitely won't!