I am a parent of a senior here at Georgetown University. My husband and I live in Maine, have six daughters and run our own small business, so it is difficult for either of us to visit.
I was grateful for the opportunity to come to Washington, D.C., over Parents’ Weekend. During the past four years, my daughter has become an avid rugby player. She has held various positions in the club — secretary, president and now captain. I am proud of her, especially now, after seeing her in action against amazing odds.
My daughter is tough; the Georgetown women’s rugby football club — GTWRFC — is tough; this team is generally small and fast against women who are not so small. Despite my occasional comments of “You know you’re here for your brains, not rugby prowess…?” Georgetown should be very proud of these ladies’ efforts, especially on Saturday, Oct. 20, when the Georgetown Hoyas took on the George Mason University Patriots on Cooper Field.
The Patriots come from a school with an enrollment of 34,000. They had a much larger team than the Hoyas. Even at the start of the game, the players of the GTWRFC knew that the odds were against them. Still, the Hoyas were supported by a small, but vocal, fan base. We watched and cheered as these ladies strove. Many members of both teams went down, but every Hoya rose again repeatedly to continue their struggle. We witnessed excellent rugby by a team that refused to give up despite difficult odds.
The female warriors of the GTWRFC supported each other with speed, capability and indefatigable, indomitable spirit. They were not slaughtered by their opponents but rather lost due to a penalty try awarded in the face of a high tackle. The final score was 29 to 27 — I think.
You might wonder why I have some confusion regarding the final score. I watched every minute of the game and obviously have a parental interest in the results. The scoreboard stayed dark for the entire game, despite all the parents in the stands. An alum and previous team member, who was generous enough to instruct us on the finer points of play, mentioned that the men’s club rugby team here at Georgetown is able to use the scoreboard and will also have use of the sound system for inspirational music. I would hope this error is merely an oversight on Georgetown’s part. One would hope it is not driven by sexism.
Georgetown should honor these amazingly brave, talented, inspirational female athletes. They bring credit to this institution. The skills learned on the rugby field will help them succeed as confident women in a world in which the odds will often be stacked against them. On Saturday night, they lost the game, but they were not defeated.
Might the university consider showing its pride by at least allowing full use of the Cooper Field facility by the GTWRFC, on a weekend when many parents travel considerable distance to take pride in their daughters’ endeavors? As an institution based on Jesuit principles, might this not be an opportunity to demonstrate cura personalis for a group of women who clearly demonstrate magis and unity of heart, mind and soul for the greater glory of this university?
I was just wondering.
Parent, Class of 2019