I’m left handed. Because of this, when I was young, my dad wanted nothing more for me to a) be a boy, or b) be the first female quarterback. He eventually had to face the fact that his dream would never become a reality, because I have never been one to throw myself into the face of danger (defense wins championships, which is why I’ve never won one). I’ve somehow successfully made it nearly 30 years without breaking a single bone in my body (knock on wood).
So, it’s no surprise that I was shocked to find out that there was a rugby team in town for men AND for women. This team is the Cincinnati Kelts. The Kelts play in the Midwest and Ohio Rugby Unions, with a men’s division III side and a women’s division II side. They also have two additional sides that they adoringly deem the “Old Boys/Old Girls” sides “for those that are past their prime”. There are two seasons; a Fall season where they play division matches, and a spring season where social and playoff matches are scheduled.
We met with a member of the men’s team and women’s team, Joe and Nicole. Naturally, after a few bits of small talk, we dove in and asked them how the heck they got involved in this sport.
Joe explained that he was always an athlete growing up, and, when he went to college, he decided to give up football and try out for the men’s rugby team at Wright State. It was a natural fit, and the camaraderie and brotherhood he experienced right off the bat hooked him.
Nicole likewise attended Wright State, and made friends with a few girls that played on the Women’s rugby team. She initially would not consider joining out of fear of getting hit (I get you, girl), but after attending a tournament with her friends, she decided to give it a shot.
Fast forward, they are years outside of college and are still as passionate about the sport as they were in college, if not more.
Both Joe and Nicole the word “Community” to initially describe the Kelts, and really, rugby in general. At the core of the game, it is about supporting your teammates. What WE loved is that, while half of our conversation was us asking silly questions like “how bad does it hurt to get hit” and “how often do you injure yourself”, the other half was spent talking about the great times they have with their teammates at their local watering hole, Haps Irish Pub in Hyde Park.
Which brings me to the best point: The Kelts are more than just a sports team. They are a brotherhood/ sisterhood community that is passionate about getting outside, staying active, and taking their bonds on the field into everyday life. They invite everyone to come out to enjoy the sport. Where they do compete, they are always accepting new players regardless of their level of experience. AKA, you can literally have no idea what a scrum is and still join the team. If you like to be active, and are looking to make friends, they welcome you to join in on the fun.
Follow along, pop by a match, learn a new sport, or pick up an old sport. Either way, the Cincinnati Kelts seem to know how to have a good time and we’re glad we got a glimpse into their community.
If you are interested in learning more about getting involved, contact the team here.