When it comes to wellness, diet, nutrition and the like are all key. But sometimes you just need to run around and have some fun. Rugby has been gaining momentum in Cayman over the last several decades and is not only great on the fitness front but is also a way to connect and get involved in one’s community.
Caroline Deegan works as business administrator and events coordinator for the Cayman Rugby Football Union (CRFU). Though introduced to rugby as a youth, it wasn’t until moving from Europe to the Islands that the sport became a passion and career trajectory. A former team captain and coach, Deegan joined the CRFU in 2009. “All the girls were playing, and they said, put your boots on. I put my boots on, and that was it.”
The CRFU stays busy year-round, with junior and community leagues, national games and tournaments. Tourists are welcome to contact the CRFU to come watch as spectators or join a community game. And for visiting teams or players on island for training, the centre partners with local hotels, caterers and buses to provide rugby rates on accommodations and transportation.
As for locals, Deegan is seeing increasing interest from Caymanian businesses. Currently, 40 corporate teams in three divisions show up for weekly games — certainly a more cardio-rich alternative to happy hour, with the added bonus of team building to integrate back into the office. On Saturdays, however, it’s the little ones that have free rein of the field, with training up to the teens, and beginning with the under four category. “It’s so cute. Their parents will join in with them as well. We make it fun. It’s teaching them how to work as a team.”
Looking ahead, the CRFU hopes to continue to grow the Caymanian rugby community through continued partnerships with local schools, plus visiting various districts and bringing the game to them. For those interested in putting their boots on as well, Deegan says, the more the merrier. “Come on down. Give it a go. Everyone will help you along. It’s easy. You throw the ball backwards, and you run forwards.”