A St. Thomas University women’s rugby player won athlete of the week earlier this year and has been named Tommies Coastal Graphics Athlete of the Month for September.
Taylor Dube, a fourth-year psychology and criminology major won the award for having a strong showing on the field. The 22-year old totaled 63 points and is helping the Tommies keep their first place standing at 5-0 in their league.
This is Dube’s second year playing rugby as inside-center and kicker, and contributes her high point score to her position as kicker. She often kicks the conversion after another player has scored a try.
Dube hopes to help bring home field advantage to the team during championship finals this year.
“If we continue to play hard the way we are going and if we stay on top, we will have home advantage,” she said.
In order to accomplish this goal, Dube says the team needs to maintain a high level of athleticism and energy during each 80-minute game.
Dube says, “Practices that focus on running and hitting,” along with, “drills making sure we are rucking properly,” may give them home advantage. “The coaches do a wonderful job to balance the team so that we are successful during our games.”
“It’s a really great group of girls. We have phenomenal coaches who care for us in general, both on field and in classes,” said Dube. “I’ve made some pretty awesome friendships.”
“We have a really good balance of passion and companionship,” she said. “It’s been a good experience for me.”
For Dube, the most valued experience playing rugby for STU is, “the family that I’ve become a part of. It’s great to be part of something so special,” she said.
Dube grew up in Exeter, New Hampshire but resides in Mt. Vernon, Maine.
After she moved to New Brunswick to attend STU, she missed playing sports. During her boarding school days she played soccer, hockey and lacrosse. She decided to get involved again.
Dube first got involved in rugby through friends from Harrington Hall who formed a team to play for the Turkey Tens, hosted by the Loyalist Woman’s Rugby Club.
After moving off campus she missed the comradery of the players on the team and decided to try out for the Tommies.
For Dube, her greatest hurdle was learning the rules of the sport. “I learn as I go. Learning a new sport can be intimidating. My teammates are a big help, along with my coaches. The physicality and tackling, that’s the fun stuff,” she said.
Dube says anyone interested in playing rugby should, “Do it, no question. It’s a really fun sport.”
“The team is unreal, the coaches are phenomenal. There is a spot for everyone,” says Dube. “It is a lasting impact on someone’s life to play woman’s rugby.”
Dube’s greatest challenge at STU is balancing athletics and academics. She said it can be tricky to “maintain high academic standing while also making time for other things that are important.”
But for Dube it was all worth it. “While living at Harrington Hall and being involved helped me create friendships and relationships that I value. I met my best friends that I live with now,” she said. “The experiences and friendships I created in my two years at Harrington Hall has kept me immersed in the STU community.”
STU is a family school said Dube.
“My parents came here and that’s where they met. My dad played for the men’s rugby team and my uncle worked as registrar.”
When Dube was in boarding school she would come to STU to watch her sister play hockey for the Tommies.
“I liked Fredericton and decided to come here.”
For new students first enrolling at STU Dube says it’s really important to get involved in the community.
“Get involved, take everything that this community has to offer. There are so many outlets to get involved in and enjoy your time here,” she says.
“Everything you put into it you will get out of it,” says Dube.
She recalls her trip home last year after losing the finals in sudden-death overtime. “On our way back, as sad as we were, we were still happy because we were together,” said Dube. “And I think that love has been passed on to this year, and it’s great to be part of something so big.”
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