Stepping up Your Game

Nick Litsiou is just your average meat head college rugby player.

Another semester is here is here, and with that another season of college varsity sports has begun. For some it’s a past time, for others the team they’re apart of is a livelihood; they live and breathe their sport and are completely dedicated to their team. Teams this season will have their returning veteran, but also many new additions to the team a.k.a rookies. At the beginning of the semester I tried out for the varsity men’s rugby team, and I am proud to say that I’ve officially become a Humber hawk. For me being a “rookie” and a first time college athlete is a completely new and exciting experience.

Now if you are new to college but not new to sports you’re familiar with how it feels to be on a team. Throughout my years before post-secondary schooling I had been on many sports teams. The one thing I have to say is it’s completely different.  League or high school was more or less a fun pass time, you pay your fee and play, and everyone makes the team. Trying out for the Humber rugby team was a new level of challenge I was required to really preform or I would have been cut from the team. Once I made the team Humber provided me with a full kit for playing plus an athletic bag full of many other things ranging from shirts to hats and scarfs; it was like Christmas or as the boys called it “Kitmas.” Being new and never receiving items like this just for being a part of a team was a very welcoming experience; It made the transition into becoming an athlete for Humber that much more exciting. The school makes a big effort for the players, additional support is offered to all of the student athletes. They make sure that everyone apart of teams are aware that they are students, school comes first then sports. I personally think this is really important because post-secondary education isn’t something to take for granted.

For those who haven’t experienced playing on a college varsity team the level of performance is completely different than any high school or league team; especially in a contact sport like rugby. High school was the only level of rugby I had played prior to becoming a member of Humber’s rugby team. So the adjustment has been huge, for one its way more competitive. Especially Humber rugby, the team has won five years in a row. The in-game level of play is much higher as well; many of the players are very experienced in the sport. It required me and I’m assuming many other athletes to quickly adapt and become a higher preforming athlete. The practiced helped but I think the real eye opener it wasn’t high school rugby any more is when I was completely levelled in our first game, nothing like a hard hit to help with the learning curve.

Being a new athlete but a second year student makes it a bit easier to balance school and sports; but I can see how new students/athletes could become a little stressed with the time that is consumed by the two. For me I leave at six in the morning and am back home by eight sometimes nine o’clock at night. Since the semester started my time has been dedicated to school and sports; keeping busy is good but at the same time a little bit of free time would be nice. I made my commitment to the two and overall I don’t mind putting in the time, the pay-off at the end of the day is very rewarding. Becoming a Varsity athlete has been a very exciting experience so I encourage those that have the opportunity to not pass up on it. So would you become a Humber Hawk if you had the chance?


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