UNC Rugby
The members of UNC Rugby are some of the most active students on campus when it comes to charity and service to the Chapel Hill community, North Carolina, and beyond. We highlight this service in this weekly feature.

UNC Rugby Volunteers at Local Pediatric Center

by Sam Giffin

This Spring 15-20 members of the UNC-Mens Rugby Club branched out from their usual activities to lend some of their charm and expertise to the UNC Childrens' Hospital. Groups of six players at a time arrived at the Pediatric Playroom on the seventh floor to play card games, draw, climb on a jungle gym and of course, jam on Rock Band, with children in elongated stays at UNC Hospitals. No one brings more willingness and enthusiasm to volunteering than a UNC rugger. Occasionally, the playroom was all but empty and one poor kid would have to put up with the eager attention of six giggling 18-22 year old's. Other times each player had someone to entertain individually, a scary prospect for all involved. However, the kids handled the rugby team with confidence and really ran the show. Rarely would we have to ask what games the patients wanted to play, more often than not, the boys and girls took charge. Chris, 10, immediately brought me to a Rock Band set, sat me down on the drums and dictated the course of our jam session for the next hour. Rugby players are not known for their musical prowess, but with the addition of an experienced karaoke-er in fullback Alex Adelman, we sounded terrific. After the playroom closed, Chris asked if the team could pose for a picture with him taken on his Play Station Portable. The experience was absolutely uplifting, as the team was able to bring smiles to boys and girls who sometimes did not have much to smile about. An unexpected bonus was team bonding. You can learn so much about a teammate when you are all volunteering your time outside of rugby or social events. I was surprised at how many rookies and freshman volunteered right away. This is good for us, the hospital and most of all the kids. Needless to say, I hope the team's relationship with the Pediatric Playroom continues for years to come.

Created Jul 22, 2010. 08:10 pm
Modified Jul 22, 2010. 08:10 pm