Page 17 - FIS World May 2019
P. 17

  More than a Game
A special match at FIS celebrates alumni - and the rugby program
“FIS isn’t just a school,” says FIS Alumni Coordinator, Nancy Huston. “It’s an international community
that extends far beyond graduation and the campuses.” This assertion was reaffirmed earlier this year on the FIS rugby pitch.
In March, FIS hosted the ISST Varsity Boys Rugby Championship. Rugby Coach Scott Bain, and FIS Activities Director Ryan Erickson, conceived the idea to make the championship tournament an anchor for an FIS rugby alumni reunion and celebration. They began by inviting former FIS rugby players back to campus to support the current team – and to play a match against visiting ISST coaches and FIS fac- ulty and staff to celebrate the 10th anniversary of rugby at FIS.
“The event was a testament to how far the team has come,” said Mr. Bain. “In ten years, the FIS rugby pro- gram has gone from just one team to a Varsity, Junior Varsity and Grade 6-8 squad.”Mr. Bain, who hails from New Zealand and who joined FIS nine years ago, has been playing rugby since he was four. He loves the game and clearly understands what is important on the pitch. "The match wasn’t about winning,”he said.
“The point was to celebrate the players and how far the program has come.”
In ten years, the FIS rugby program has gone from just one team to a Varsity, JV and Grade 6–8 squad.
Both the FIS Alumni office and FIS Athletic Department endeavor to stay in touch with alumni, but Mr. Bain said it wasn’t hard to recruit alumni players because he has an FIS Rugby Facebook page and “frequently chats about days gone by with former players across the world.” John Paul “PJ” Smith, FIS class of 2013, trav- eled almost 6,000 kilometers from Boston to play for the alumni team. Following the match he said,“It was the worst performance I have ever put on the rugby pitch. However, it wasn’t about winning. The purpose was to enjoy our time on the field.” Rewarding times were also had later that evening at a celebration din- ner at the Oberursel Brauhaus. Mr. Smith said of the dinner, "It was great hearing from old coaches, play- ers and FIS faculty regarding their experiences with rugby, how it has impacted their lives, and what they are doing in life at the moment.”
During the alumni versus coaches and FIS faculty and staff match, the school’s electronic scoreboard was off and there wasn’t an official scorekeeper. However, there was at least one person keeping score.“I knew that we would win,” said Bryne Stothard, Grade 11 Year Head and Upper School Geography and TOK (Theory of Knowledge) teacher.“Rugby is a far more technical and tactical game than people think. Josh Keys, FIS Assistant Rugby Coach, and Mr. Bain are excellent players and are a big asset to the faculty team.” Mr. Stothard added, “If it had been a full con- tact game, perhaps it would have been a different story.” Coincidently, Mr. Smith suggested the same.
Regardless of which team performed best given the rules, Mr. Bain said his colleague and teammate, Mr. Keys, who also teaches Physical Education and Health in the Upper School, was the most valuable player. “He was running around like he was back on the pitch 10 or 15 years ago.”
Mr. Bain’s admiration for his colleague’s rugby skill is of no surprise and Mr. Stothard put it into con- text. “It is great to participate in community events and make use of the splendid facilities we have at our disposal. Playing on a team with our colleagues is also incredibly fun and shows the togetherness we have as faculty."
While heralding Mr. Keys as the Most Valuable Player, Mr. Bain gave former students all the credit for cre- ating the FIS Rugby program. “PJ Smith and James Rooney are basically the founders of the team. In Grade 8 they went to then Athletic Director Kenny McCauley, and asked about a team. He said they needed to get the numbers and they got a whole bunch of their friends. The rest is history.”
Both Mr. Bain and Mr. Smith spoke about“legacy”as an important goal of the FIS Rugby Team. “We always talk about trying to leave a little bit of legacy,” said Mr. Bain. It was abundantly clear during the tour- nament’s award ceremony that FIS Rugby players and coaches have done just that as the proud 2019 Warriors Rugby Team accepted their Bronze Medal for the ISST Rugby Championship.
Emmett Kelly FIS Parent
May 2019 FIS World 15

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