» By Tiffany Comer
“She who sheds her blood with me shall forever be my sister”
–slogan of the Clarksville Valkyries
The Valkyries started out very small, with only two or three girls participating in men’s rugby practices in Hopkinsville, Ky. starting last year.
About six months ago, two of those women, Caitlin Osteen and Molly Walters, decided to form a women’s team. Osteen and Walters put flyers in the YMCA and other local gyms and recruited a sports marketing manager.
Once the team began to grow, they decided to move the team to Clarksville since most of the interested players were Clarksville-Montgomery County residents.
In the past six months, the team has grown from two or three girls to 30 members, and the team hopes to continue growing.
They have also come up with the team name “Valkyries” which was decided by a team vote.
The team liked the name because valkyries are strong female warrior characters, and the name seemed to fit the type of team they wanted to be.
“Being a member of the team is rewarding, and it keeps me fit and allows me to make new friends,” team member Imelda Maronde said.
The team has members ranging from 15-year-olds to 40-year-olds, with roles ranging from high school and college students to seasoned mothers.
The team accepts members of any size, shape and ability and have great diversity in the women who take part.
“At first I was really scared to join the team because I haven’t been a member of a team since high school,” said APSU student and team member Suzy Akana, “but the team is really cool and I was hooked after the first game.”
The game of rugby was similar to football when it first began. The ball used in rugby is much bigger and rounder, and instead of being thrown forward it is always passed backward or sideways. Team members wear little to no padding and play two halves in the game — 40 minutes each.
“You literally sprint nonstop for 80 minutes,” said team member Robyn Womac, “and I love every second of it.”
The team hopes to become active in the community and wants to give back to the community that supports them.
The team can be seen at the upcoming APSU health fair in October.
For more information on the Clarksville Valkyries, visit their website at ClarksvilleWomensRFC.weebly.com.