The Rugby Mom Effect

Being a rugby mom isn't just about caring for your child, but rather the entire team.

It is almost a guarantee looking into the stands of a rugby match that you will find a mom – no matter if you are at a local match or an international test match. While there is no handbook on being a rugby mom, there appears to be a common understanding that rugby moms would do anything to help their child and their child's entire team be successful on the pitch. Three National Team Athletes' Moms share what it is like to be rugby moms. 

"If you asked me before I knew what rugby was, I would answer no. But once I married my husband and learned the game, I kind of hoped I would become a rugby mom" said Brett Thompson's mom, Beth Thompson.

"Naturally I had some reserves in my mind and my heart when she first started playing rugby." Said Joanne Fa'avesi mom, Ofa Lutui. "But when I realized it was what she wanted, then it became all l wanted to help her pursue her dreams" she continued.

"There are not many bleachers that I have not put my butt on," said Ilona Maher's mom, Mieneke Maher-Beukenkamp. "As a Rugby mom, you go to a lot of games and take part in the festivities afterward. A lot of hotdogs have been cooked, hamburgers made, potato chips distributed and brownies baked. But it was never a demand" she added.

Thompson agreed that participating in these activities never felt like a demand, "When you have a child that you totally love, and they embrace something with such passion, it doesn't feel like much of a demand."

However, being a rugby mom isn't just about your child, but rather the entire team.

"There is a very special bond that happens with other rugby moms," Maher-Beukenkamp said when explaining how the moms come together during matches to cheer on each other's children.

"When some of the other player's step on the pitch – I feel like I am their mother as well. I have overwhelming pride and joy in their hard work and accomplishment to get where they are" Thompson added.

There is no surprise that these moms have put in the time and energy for their child – with nothing less than enormous pride.

"Either if they win or lose – I feel like a winner. Every time I see my child on the field representing this country, representing her team, representing her family and representing our people too. That is the most rewarding feeling of being a rugby mom" said Lutui

"And the other side of me, as a human, when I see her tackle - I also feel rewarded" she concluded.

To all the rugby moms out there, know that the most rewarding feeling of being an athlete – is having a rugby mom like you. From all of us here at USA Rugby, happy Mother's Day and thank you for what you do to make rugby possible in your child's life.  

Looking for a special way to honor that rugby mom in your life? By making a donation to USA Rugby in her name, you send a special message of your appreciation of the impact she had in your life - and now in the lives of other athletes who benefit from this donation. 


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