Rugby’s not just any game – it’s the game for life

People ask me a lot why I – a girl – play rugby. A game that appears to be so aggressive and brutal, a game for barbarians.

AIMEE BURLEY OF the Kickers (right) is a formidable foe for opponents to tackle.

AIMEE BURLEY OF the Kickers (right) is a formidable foe for opponents to tackle.








Aimee Burley

Special to the Record

People ask me a lot why I – a girl – play rugby.  A game that appears to be so aggressive and brutal, a game for barbarians. That type of question is part of the reason that I love rugby – it allows people to re-think their assumptions about what it means to be a woman and to play rugby. It’s awesome watching the rookies join, totally unsure, asking themselves what they’re doing here. Not being able to run more than a lap or do push-ups. I watch them morph during the season and see that being strong and fit makes them more beautiful and that tackling other women into the ground on the weekends not only doesn’t compromise femininity, it increases self-confidence and assertiveness.

There are not a lot of things in our society besides rugby that allows women to be truly physically aggressive, to use our bodies in the same unafraid, assertive way that men use theirs all the time.

My question to you is: why not rugby?

Rugby is one of the most skilled games out there. Not really that brutal or aggressive once you know the game. Someone once told me, “You can’t be champions with anything less than 30 players.” It sounds crazy but it’s true: more than any other sport I’ve played, winning a rugby game requires the full dedication of everyone on the field, not just one or two stars. You have to trust and have confidence that your teammates with be there to support you. You have 15 players on the field, each with a different role but organizing together each for the same goals. Teamwork and coordination is everything!

To me there is nothing like leaving your heart and soul on the field fighting a rival, then to be socializing and enjoying some food and drinks after with the very same people. This combination of trust and camaraderie is one reason I rely on, respect, and admire the women on my team as much as I do. Almost everyone I know who plays rugby counts the relationships they have made through the sport as one of the main reasons they stay with it.

I love going to training after a long day, putting everything behind me in the rucks, mauls and passes. I love the feeling when I can make that tackle, run faster, and push myself that little bit further. I love the smell of the pitch in the morning of a home game, feeling the combined nervousness and excitement in the preparation for going head-to-head with another team.

I love the feeling you have in the last minutes of a game, when you rely on everything you have to pull through for just one more hard scrum, and you’re breathing really hard and you don’t know if you can last – and then one of you does something amazing. At that point there is no way you’d want to be anywhere else in the world.

Ten years from now I may not be playing, but I know I will always be a part of my rugby club in some way. My teammates are like my family: we have made bonds that spread to other areas of our lives and know that these bonds will be strong for years to come.

Rugby is not just any game, it’s a game for life!




The Comox Valley Kickers practise on Tuesday and Thursday nights 6:30 at the Fallen Alders field on Royston Road and encourage anyone interested in playing to come check it out.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Comox woman on fence books vaccine due to brother’s death

Leela Harrop says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Most categories of crime held steady from year to year in Cumberland. File photo
Cumberland crime numbers hold steady year to year

A few categories had notable changes but many were similar to 2019

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Most Read