The Celts, aka the Southern Pines Women’s Rugby Club has been playing together for just under 5 years — a run that was put on pause due to COVID-19. Now, the team is back and ready to build on their momentum as they kickoff their matrix season this weekend. The group is part of the Southern Pines Rugby Football Club, also home to the Men’s and Youth club teams.
The crew describes their club as a family, where there is support and engagement between the teams as members share and grow the sport of rugby. Adult team members help with the youth clubs and clinics; and since inception, they’ve seen a bigger presence and love of the sport throughout the community.
The Celts practice twice a week at Twin Fields Farm and welcome anyone who may be interested to come see what the fun is all about. “We’re always recruiting,” says team President Brynne Burlingame. While some may see that as a challenge, Brynne finds it exciting because that means they are spreading awareness of the sport wider than before.
“My favorite thing about rugby is that there is not an ideal body type. There is an ideal role for every single body type,” says Brynne. After learning the sport, she has gained an appreciation and ability to spot the inherent strengths and capabilities in every person. Rugby has helped defy the stereotypes for “athletes” as every person has a unique strength to add to the team.
The women’s team prides themselves on making an effort to spend time together on and off the field in order to build on their inclusive environment. Events and fundraising chair Jordan Kennedy says, “Whether its body type, sexuality, religion, or politics. We don’t care. It all gets left out when you’re out on that field, and it’s left out when we socialize. It’s our family, and we’re there for them no matter what.”
This weekend marks the Celts home opener at the NAV at 1 p.m. Before the Women’s home opener, there is a Youth Clinic from 10-11 a.m. (free for any child interested in learning more about rugby…free hotdogs included) and the men’s team kicks off at 11 a.m. “A good way to start off the season is to have everyone together,” says Brynne.
The Celts are currently taking on new sponsors, accepting donations for their upcoming raffle on Oct. 30 and actively recruiting to share their love of the sport with the community. Interested in learning more? Connect with The Celts or show up at a practice every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30pm at Twin Fields Farm with water and a positive attitude. They’ll show you the perfect pitch.