Men’s Rugby Tackles Pediatric Cancer

When most people hear the term rugby, they think of hard-hitting, aggressive men with the highest levels of testosterone flowing through their bodies. Perhaps something like this comes to mind.  While the Penn State Men’s Rugby team is certainly an intimidating competitor on the field, they will combine their efforts to beat a new opponent this season: pediatric cancer.

Founded in 1962, the “team sport” is no stranger to supporting good causes.  They organized a free hot chocolate hand out for those in line for JoePa’s viewing with a donation box that ended up raising $1,700 for the Special Olympics. For the past few years, they have also offered some of their most strapping bachelors at the annual PSMA Date Auction benefitting THON.

This year marks the first year Penn State Rugby will be recognized as a THON organization.  A few seniors, including captains Blaze Feury (yes, that’s his real name) and Dan Metcalf, took the initiative to fill out the paperwork to become official.  Although they do not have dancers yet, the boys are very excited to be a part of such a rewarding cause.  This weekend they embark on their first canning trip, alongside the women’s team, to begin raising money for The Four Diamonds Fund.

For THON chair Danny Callaghan, joining the fight against pediatric cancer has special meaning.

“When my dad passed away this summer from cancer, I felt really motivated to step up,” he said. “As hard as it was to see my dad go through it, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for a parent to see their child suffer and hopefully we can make that a little better.”

Bitsy Cairns complements Callaghan as the women’s team THON chair, and together they plan to make an impact.

“Our biggest goal for this THON season is putting a system in place that can be continued in the future: we don’t want this to be a one-time thing,” said Callaghan.  “Hopefully we can establish relationships with our alumni and some businesses that will continue into the future and keep raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund.”

With high hopes, Penn State Rugby looks forward to a successful THON and potential championship season. #14 Penn State will host #8 Kutztown October 12th at 1:00 p.m. at West Fields.

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Becca Erdman

Becca is a senior majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Sociology

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