May 05, 2008

Women's rugby club earns equipment donation

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois Women's Rugby Club is going to be blasting goals in style next season thanks to USA Rugby and the U.S. Army National Guard, as well as an SIUC alumna.

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Recreational Sports and Services club sport garnered more than $6,000 in free equipment this spring from the recently formed partnership between USA Rugby and the National Guard. The SIUC team was among 300 chosen nationally on the basis of an application and an essay to receive the equipment packages. Adrianne E. Cortes, a 2003 graduate of SIUC, penned the winning essay.

Valerie Blaszczak, club president, said the sponsorship includes new jerseys, socks, shorts, practice balls, training bibs, coaching videos, goal post pads and much more. Blaszczak said Cortes included a brief history of the club and information about community service activities.

"Since we are a club sport, most of our funding comes from fundraising and sponsors," Blaszczak said. "All the rest of the money comes from our own pockets. "

She said the sponsorship funding is a great asset as the club won't have to use its limited resources for equipment and uniforms, but can spend it on other expenses like travel.

"We found out we won in February and we just received our practice gear and jerseys," she said. "They look great and we cannot wait to wear them next season."