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Limestone Books

Fields of PrideQueering Dutch Rugby

Fields of PrideQueering Dutch Rugby

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There are very few things that make me feel so powerful as standing in a huddle with my teammates right before a match while our captain prepares us for battle with an uplifting pep talk. The culmination of energy and shouted encourage- ments generate a sense of combativeness and determination that can be felt both physically and mentally. Do I feel this sense of empowerment because the support of my teammates helps me to temporarily block out those off-handed comments about women's rugby not being 'real rugby or women not being as tough as men? Or does this kind of scepticism give me an extra incentive to prove myself? My teammate Zoe comes from a family where several generations of men play rugby. During an online interview she tells me that they were not exactly open to the idea of her playing rugby.

"Actually my family was strongly against it, against women's rugby. They said 'no, that's not a sport for girls'. And well, I actually told them multiple times 'you know what, I would really like to play rugby' and they said 'no, it's best if you don't.'"

In the end, Zoe bought the necessary equipment herself and threatened to cycle the long road to the rugby club all by herself, in the dark. This left her parents no other choice, but to drive her to the rugby field.

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