The NYU Stern Rugby Club celebrated its 20th year with an alumni game, where Violets’ rugby players past and present took to the pitch for a fun afternoon of rugby, rejoicing and reunion. For all who participated, the game was sheer jubilation and fun.
“Either way NYU wins,” one player joked during the festivities.
The all-encompassing power of sport was once again on display in full force. As ghosts of rugby’s past arrived to the Randall’s Island Field 75, there were exchanges of handshakes and hugs, showing the impact this team has had on the players that have come and gone over the 20 years it has been in existence. Schack Master’s student Nylz Reyes cited this as his reason for joining when he made the move to New York from Philly.
“Coming to New York I wanted to get into a group of people and in a big city I knew that was very, very important,” Reyes said. “Being a former college football player, I wanted to be active as well. It’s a good way to bond with people, meet with people from all different schools at NYU.”
And though they might not quite be Division I caliber, they’ve still got a certain athletic prowess, according to visiting business student Dos Remedios from Hong Kong University of Science and Tech.
“Honestly the NYU team is not that bad,” he joked. He then went on to say that they’re one of the best teams he’s ever been a part of.
Though the young guns lost to their more aged counterparts, team co-president, and fifth-year Ph.D. student at NYU Langone Anthony Bainor joked that’s the point of the club, which has grown close to his heart over his time with it. Bainor was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan where athletics are central, and so when he met fellow co-president and Ph.D. student Remi Coux, it was a match made in heaven.
“I’d like to think we saved the club from certain demise,” Bainor said. “But honestly though, about two years ago we could barely field 10 guys and now we have 15, 16, 17, almost 20 guys showing up for matches every week. I really think the club is moving in a
And the alumni turnout is just a testament to that positive direction.
“Rugby is the most awesome game in terms of camaraderie,” Bainor added. “We literally beat the crap out of each other for 80 minutes and then we go get drunk together.”
The guys on the team clearly have passion — so much so that the all sought out the team themselves and decided to join.
“The longer we play together, the better we’ll get, so I’m very optimistic for the future,” Bainor said.
At the end of the day, this — like any school club — is a group of networkers, collaborators, like-minded thinkers and, most of all, friends. This weekend marked a celebration of 20 years of that for the rugby club.
A version of this article appeared in the April 25 print edition. Email Rachel Ruecker at [email protected]