Diane came from Lille, France to study English and French Law at King's in 2014. After two years of rugby, socials, tours (and a little bit of studying), she is now on her way back to France with
Bonjour, Diane! First off, what do you play on the team?
I usually play in the backline, outside centre (13). But at Varsity I played wing too, which was fun. I once tried forward and I was shocked at how much work it was haha!
Did you play rugby before?
I never played rugby before joining KCLWRFC. I'd played a bit of basket and football in France, but I thought rugby looked fun and I knew it was a very British thing and I wanted to get integrated. I had a look on the website and in freshers' week I coincidentally met the only other French person on the team, Claire, at the student bar and she encouraged me to join! The rest is history.
What caught your interest about the team?
I really liked the atmosphere, the old girls and the initiation, which was a riot! I liked my course mates a lot, but I got more of that carefree, fun atmosphere on the rugby team. It was exciting! I remember also being very scared about my first game - terrified - but everyone was so supportive and praised me. I even got Back of the Match for that game! The old girls handed me a pint as a prize at the social afterwards. I knew I had found the team for me then.
What was your best memory from your 2 years on the team?
My proudest moment was probably alumni games in my first year. I'd caught the ball and ran past the alumni girls, but I didn't know what to do then. One of the old girls screamed at me, 'Go, go, go!!' and I ran to the try line and scored. I had no idea what I was doing, but the team told me that was the first time a fresher had scored at an alumni game! I still remember that moment so vividly.
My best memories are probably from all the socials. One of our first ones was Smurf Night and I had just come from a fancy Law Dinner with a team mate and had to change from formal wear to smurf clothes in front of all these important people who probably thought we were a bit bizarre. We took the tube to Waterfront and had the best night ever, covered in blue paint from head to toe.
How do you feel being on the team has impacted your time at King's?
Playing rugby has been a huge part of my life - it would not have been the same without it. In my first year, it was a great way to socialise, to meet people from all over the world that I'd never have met or talked to otherwise. It was also a great way to integrate with the British culture and improving my English, which was something I really wanted out of my stay in England too. I think French people can tend to huddle together in small groups with other French people, but on the rugby team I was forced to speak English, as there was only one other French person, Claire. In my second year it was even more fun; I had more experience playing and actually knew what I was doing on the pitch, hahaha!
Rugby was the perfect sport for me, because you don't really need to be athletic or extroverted to fit in on the team. No matter your size or shape, there's a position on the pitch for you. I also remember some shy people joining us in my second year who really opened up because, well, we are all just girls hanging out together and there's always something to talk about because we play the same game. I found that my team mates also encouraged and supported me a lot more than in other sports I'd tried, because at the end of the day, we're in this together as a team.
Less words, more pics?
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