Discovering the Berlin Touch Rugby club with Julia

Spectacular, strategic and contactless, Touch Rugby is developing more and more in Europe and especially in the heart of the German capital. Meeting with Julia S. the president of the Berlin team.

Originally from Ottawa in Canada, Julia S. arrived in Berlin as part of her master’s degree in the summer of 2019. But because of the Covid-19 epidemic and like many students and young professionals, she was faced with a double problem: the impossibility of continuing to practice regular physical activity and the difficulty of meeting people in times of pandemic. After several searches, she came across an ad from the Touch Rugby club in Berlin. A structure that she has not left since.

Cardio, diversity and strategy

Not very well known in Europe, Touch Rugby is nevertheless particularly popular in the southern hemisphere (the most popular sport in Australia, with nearly a million players). This version of traditional rugby has the advantage of not causing contact. This means that many former rugby players are turning to this sport and allowing it to be a mixed activity. The rules are relatively simple: each team has six “keys” to score, passing only backwards. As soon as a player is touched with the ball, he must stop, put the ball on the ground and wait for one of his teammates to come and put the ball back into play, while a “touch” is removed from the team attacker. If the attacking team has failed to score with their six possessions, the ball is returned to the opposing team. A game that seems almost childish, says Julia with a smile, nevertheless requires a great strategy: as it is not possible to create spaces by contact, it is necessary to activate them by stimulating yourself on the ground. So that if the muscle mass remains less important than in traditional rugby, the sport is no less physical. ” On short about 7km per training says Julia.

© Vianney du Manoir

A family club, in the heart of Berlin

Founded by an Australian emigrated to Berlin in 2006, the club has since developed well, underlines Julia. To the point of currently having around forty players for the year who are divided between the two daily training sessions. Enough to send a competitive team to major tournaments in Germany and Europe. This year, Amsterdam, Munich or the national championship are on the program. And beyond the competition, it is the friendly aspect that explains the success of the club. Julia thus reminds us that it is the spirit of inclusiveness and benevolence that makes the team a real ” small family “. For example, the club organizes a “social Saturday” once a month in order to introduce novices to the sport and strengthen ties between members around a barbecue. A small family for which Julia did not hesitate to get involved, recently becoming president of the association. A beautiful way of give back to the club what they gave me “.

For those who want to try it, do not hesitate. The club welcomes novices as well as experts, whether or not you have already played rugby. You can find the Facebook page here, and the club’s Instagram page here.

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